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Demand for test kits in Singapore surges amid new COVID-19 wave

Update: 22-05-2024 | 15:48:38

Amid a rise in COVID-19 cases in Singapore, demand for test kits has jumped, with some shops running out of stock.

Healthcare and beauty retailer Watsons said there has been a surge of over 150 % in the demand for COVID-19 test kits in the past week. The stores are well-stocked, and they have scheduled replenishment.

Singapore's largest supermarket chain FairPrice has similarly seen a near doubling in demand for antigen rapid test (ART) kits and masks in the past week.

On May 21, some pharmacies did not have test kits available. At a Watsons branch at Star Vista, for instance, a staff member said she was uncertain when stocks of ART kits will come in.

Both Watsons and FairPrice said they are working to ensure supplies.

Singapore is experiencing a new COVID-19 wave, with a recent doubling of cases week-on-week. The estimated number of infections in the week of May 5 to 11 rose to 25,900 – a 90% increase compared with the 13,700 cases in the week before that.

The country's Ministry of Health reported on May 18 that the average daily number of hospitalised cases rose to about 250 from 181 in the previous week.

While studies have not been done on the effectiveness of current vaccines against newer variants, scientists say vaccination remains the best option, especially for those with underlying health conditions./.

VNA

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