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Singapore confirms 28 new coronavirus cases amid surge in infections

People wear masks and observe social distancing while lining up to pay at a supermarket in Singapore, on May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Zen Soo)

SINGAPORE (Kyodo) -- Singapore's Health Ministry said Monday it confirmed 28 new cases of coronavirus infections, with 21 of them transmitted locally, amid a resurgence of cases.

    The country has been grappling with an increasing number of infections after reporting 131 locally transmitted cases last week, jumping from 39 cases the week before.

    In a bid to tackle the outbreak, the ministry has said it aims to prioritize giving a single dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to as many people as possible rather than providing fewer people with the recommended two doses as the city-state grapples with a resurgence of infections.

    Singapore Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said at a press conference Sunday evening that as the country proceeds with the second phase of the nationwide vaccination drive, it is doing its best to provide many citizens some level of protection against COVID-19.

    Ong said the ministry plans to focus on giving one dose of COVID-19 vaccine to its population as there have been international studies that show just one shot protects against the disease.

    The recently appointed health minister said the ministry plans to extend the period a person waits for their second dose to up to eight weeks as immunologists have said the extension would not compromise the vaccine's efficacy.

    Some 1.28 million people out of Singapore's total population of 5.6 million have already received two doses of the vaccine, according to the ministry.

    The government has approved vaccines developed by two U.S. companies, Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.

    On Sunday, the government announced that all elementary, junior high and high school students should return to home-based online learning due to the resurgence of infections.

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