US: Avoid unnecessary travel to Singapore

File photo of Singapore’s skyline. Photo: Zephylwer0
File photo of Singapore’s skyline. Photo: Zephylwer0

The United States has raised Singapore’s coronavirus risk level to “high” and discouraged nonessential travel to the city-state in the face of surging COVID-19 cases. 

Singapore was added yesterday to the Americans’ second-highest coronavirus threat level because of the current situation in Singapore, where new deaths are being reported nearly every day for the first time during the pandemic and the fourth wave of infections is spreading to more than a thousand people each day in the past two weeks. 

“Because of the current situation in Singapore, all travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading COVID-19 variants,” the travel notice on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website said. 

It was designated on the same day with Bangladesh, Equatorial Guinea, Panama, Saint Barthelemy, and Slovakia. Other Asian countries already deemed high risk were Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Malaysia, Thailand, and Myanmar are classified as “very high” risk.

The advisory urged American travelers to be fully vaccinated if they wish to come to Singapore while unvaccinated people should avoid the city. 

Singapore’s total COVID-19 death toll jumped to 80 yesterday after more than a dozen people died in the past week, the most in a seven-day period since the pandemic began. Yesterday’s reported deaths included two fully vaccinated elderly individuals. The number of people on ventilators also grew to 194, more than double from two weeks ago, while 27 are in the ICU. Altogether, they account for nearly one-in-five of the nearly 1,300 people currently hospitalized, most of whom are elderly. 

The city-state has begun rolling out vaccine booster shots to senior citizens as COVID-19 has infected more than 1,000 more each day in the past week. Around 80% of the population is fully vaccinated. 

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