(Bloomberg) -- The number of seriously ill Covid-19 patients in Singapore has risen to such an extent that there are 60 empty beds currently left in intensive care units.
The overall ICU utilization rate stood at 83.6% as of Monday, the city-state’s health ministry said, up from about two-thirds just under a week ago. Of the 306 occupied ICU beds, there were 64 Covid-19 patients in critical condition and intubated, and 107 patients in unstable condition and being closely monitored. The other 135 beds were taken for non-Covid related ailments.
ICU bed capacity is being closely watched as authorities warn of the risk of Singapore’s health-care system being overwhelmed. While the government is loosening border controls to allow in vaccinated visitors from more countries, it has extended strict curbs on the island to late November, including limiting social gatherings to two people. Officials have said rules may only be relaxed when the situation at the hospitals stabilizes.
“Our hospitals and health-care workers continue to come under tremendous pressure,” Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said last week. He said more ICU beds will be opened up if needed, though that would affect normal services and medical care. ICU patients stay on average 15 days, and some up to a month, he said.
Singapore reported 3,174 new Covid-19 cases Monday. There were 14 deaths from virus-related complications, all involving people with underlying medical conditions, according to the ministry. The ratio of community cases for the past week over the week before is 1.18. Officials are also watching for this figure to dip below 1 before potentially easing curbs.
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