The United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday (Oct. 18) added Singapore to its list of "very high" risk travel destinations. The US health protection agency also suggested that travel to Singapore should be avoided.
Singapore has moved up from Level 3, or "high" risk for Covid-19, to Level 4, the agency's highest risk category, CNN reported.
Level 4: Very High Level of Covid-19 in Singapore
The CDC said, "Because of the current situation in Singapore, even fully vaccinated travelers may be at risk for getting and spreading Covid-19 variants." The agency added, "If you must travel to Singapore, make sure you are fully vaccinated before travel."
"Travelers should follow recommendations or requirements in Singapore, including wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart from others," said the CDC.
CDC uses Travel Health Notices (THNs) to alert travelers and other audiences to health threats around the world and advise on how to protect themselves. The 4-level system categorizes destinations, including international destinations and US territories. Factors such as the number of recent Covid-19 cases and the trajectory of new cases are taken into account while categorizing the destinations.
Besides Singapore, other nations like include Brunei, Malaysia, Thailand and the United Kingdom are currently at Level 4. The threshold for reaching Level 4 is more than 500 cases per 100,000 people in the local population, for the past 28 days, according to the CDC.
The CDC announcement followed a statement on Monday by the US State Department urging people not to travel to Singapore due to Covid-19.
Singapore witnessed 2,553 fresh Covid-19 cases on Monday, comprising 2,008 new cases in the community, 544 in migrant worker dormitories and one imported case.
Danger Level Raised Twice in a Month
The CDC's move means that the danger level for Singapore has been raised twice in a month.
Earlier on Sep. 27, Singapore was raised from Level 2 to Level 3, indicating a "high" level of Covid-19 with Singapore reporting more than 1,000 cases a day since the middle of September, its largest outbreak since April 2020. At that time, the CDC said unvaccinated travelers should avoid nonessential travel to the Southeast Asian country.
Earlier this month, public hospital emergency departments had seen up to an eight-fold increase in the number of patients who have positive results using ART (antigen rapid test) or PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests. Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary noted that the exponential rise in cases has impacted Singapore's healthcare capacity.