Singapore has the lowest coronavirus case fatality count globally, with just 27 deaths among the more than 57,000 people who have been infected with COVID-19 in the Southeast Asian island.
At 0.05%, Singapore’s death rate is well below the global average of around 3%, according to data compiled by Reuters from countries that have recorded more than 1,000 cases. A comparison with countries with a similar sized population shows a stark difference – Denmark’s death rate is around 3%, while Finland’s is around 4%. tmsnrt.rs/2RxksJF
Further, nobody has died from the disease in Singapore for more than two months, according to its health ministry. The country’s leading disease experts said the following are the main factors behind the phenomenon:
Singapore has managed to mitigate the spread of the virus via early detection using aggressive contact tracing and testing that won praise from the World Health Organization (WHO)
It has swabbed nearly 900,000 people, more than 15% of its 5.7 million population, according to official data – one of the highest per capita rates globally.
“The more we diagnose, then the lower the mortality rate is,” said Hsu Li Yang at Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health at National University of Singapore.
The pre-emptive approach has also applied to treatment. COVID-19 patients above the age of 45 years or with underlying conditions that make them vulnerable are cared for in hospital even if they are otherwise well, doctors said.
Singapore was already a medical tourism hub for Southeast Asia, with numerous private hospitals and high quality public healthcare facilities. It also built up bed space for coronavirus patients in cavernous exhibition halls and other temporary facilities to house those with mild or no symptoms.
This prevented the healthcare system from being overwhelmed so that attention and resources could be focused on the more severe cases, doctors said. Singapore currently has no COVID-19 patients in intensive care, while 42 are warded in hospital and a further 490 in temporary facilities.
The city-state made masks mandatory in public in April. While experts have said more studies need be done, there is growing evidence that wearing masks helps reduce the prevalance and severity of the virus.
Singapore sticks rigidly to the WHO’s case definition for classifying COVID-19 deaths. It does not include non-pneumonia fatalities like those caused by blood or heart issues among COVID-19 patients in its official tally.
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