The world’s first wave of the recombinant SARS-CoV-2 variant XBB has apparently begun in Singapore.

Twitter is alight with posts claiming that the recombinant SARS-CoV-2 variant XBB is creating a new wave of infections in Singapore, so we’ve taken a look at the latest information from the Singapore Ministry of Health and other reliable sources and republished it.

The new Covid wave in Singapore can be seen in the daily update slides from the Ministry of Health, shown below.

The number of new Covid cases in Singapore has risen dramatically over the past week:

The week-on-week infection ratio in Singapore clearly shows the new wave:

The seven-day moving average of local cases:

Covid hospitalisations in Singapore have been steadily increasing:

The 7 day moving average of active cases in ICU and deaths by vaccination status shows a distinct change in profile. Click to enlarge the image.

Singapore ICU’s are already seeing the impact of the new wave:

Raj Rajnarayanan comments that Singapore is already an XBB hotspot, with supporting charts:

Tom Wenseelers confirms that the Singapore wave is being driven by XBB.

Josette Schoenmakers has commented that “As we see BQ.1(.1) rising and becoming substantial in Europe eg. and XBB to an even greater extent in Singapore and Bangladesh“.

The fact that XBB only popped up on our radar five days ago and is already creating waves is a cause for concern. We still don’t know whether this variant is fit enough to outcompete BQ.1.1, but it seems it won’t take long to find out.

We covered the latest scientific research information on XBB recently here and here. One scientist said of the variant “XBB is currently the most antibody-evasive strain tested“. 

We’ve updated Daniele Focosi’s convergent evolution diagram below so that you can keep track of where new these variants are coming from. Click on the image to enlarge.

Share Button