Singapore: Lifts its Travel Ban on Nigeria and Nine Other African Countries

Singapore has withdrawn its travel ban on Ten African countries due to the COVID-19 Omicron variant’s increased transmissibility. However, the country’s authorities have warned that a fresh wave of local cases is expected “soon.”
Passengers travelling in Singapore with a travel history to Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini, or Botswana, during the previous 14 days would be subject to the country’s Category IV border procedures, according to the Singapore Ministry of Health.

“We should expect additional community (local) cases and significant doubling of cases in the following days and weeks,” according to the ministry. In order to live with COVID-19, we must go through this process once more.”
“However, if everyone does their part to receive their vaccinations and booster doses, self-test periodically, and isolate if tested positive, the peak of the wave can be dampened and we can avoid overwhelming our healthcare system again.”

“Those who have recently returned from overseas or who have had contact with an infected person should limit their social interactions especially.”
“We’ve done everything we can to prepare for it, including giving our people booster shots and commencing vaccinations for our children.” As we withstand an Omicron wave in the next one to two months, we actively sought everyone’s cooperation and understanding.”
Omicron cases will be kept on home recovery or treated at community care facilities based on their clinical presentation, rather than being isolated in specialized facilities by default.”

Travelers having ties to Nigeria and other countries on the list must take a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test two days before departure, as well as an on-arrival PCR test, under the new policies. They’ll also be required to serve a 10-day stay-at-home notice at a secure location. At the end of their quarantine period, they will be given another PCR test.
To help prevent the spread of the Omicron COVID-19 strain into Singapore, the Singapore health ministry first used a “more careful risk containment approach.”
“The Omicron variant however has eventually spread over the world,” the ministry stated, explaining that Singapore’s travel restrictions had been updated as a result.
“We will continue to alter our border procedures in parallel with our path to becoming a Covid-resilient nation as the global scenario changes,” it pointed.
“Based on the existing observations from directly affected countries and regions, the Omicron variant appears to be more highly infectious than presently prevalent variants.” The Omicron variant has surpassed the Delta variant as the most common in some countries, including the United Kingdom and Denmark, according to the ministry.

According to the findings, Omicron infections have a lower probability of hospitalization and severe sickness than Delta infections.
“Directly, our Omicron cases haven’t been severe yet; no one has demanded urgent care or oxygen support,” it stated. “This could be partly owing to the fact that most cases are completely vaccinated and from younger age groups,” it added.
According to preliminary data from international research, two doses of mRNA vaccines reduce the probability of symptomatic Omicron infection by roughly 35%. Individuals who use a primary and booster mRNA regimen have a risk that is lowered by roughly 75%.

“Because of cellular immunity and other reasons, there should be better protection against serious illness and mortality.” As a result, it is critical that we continue with our booster vaccination campaign to improve protection against infection and serious illness, according to the report.

Furthermore, instead of being isolated in specific facilities, Omicron cases in Singapore will be positioned on home recovery or treated at community care facilities based on their clinical presentation. International research suggests that the Omicron variant is still more transmissible but perhaps less severe than the Delta variant, but also that vaccines, particularly boosters, provide significant protection against Omicron-related hospitalizations.

“We had numerous unrelated Omicron cases and certain clusters in the community over the last week.” Regarding the variant’s strong transmissibility, this was unsurprising.”

Omicron cases will be compelled to follow protocols 1-2-3 as with other COVID-19 cases, according to the authorities’ “new awareness,” it made clear.
Singapore has identified 546 confirmed Omicron cases so far since Saturday, 25th December 2021, along side 443 imported cases as well as 103 indigenous infections.

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