All hospital visits to cease amid new Covid cases
The two-week measure starts today and will last until Aug 18
Visits to all hospital wards will not be allowed for two weeks, starting today until Aug 18, as part of an interim measure to curb the spread of Covid-19 in the community.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said yesterday it detected more Covid-19 community cases recently, including staff and patients of hospitals.
"Any detection of cases within a hospital will invariably lead to a ward closure, limiting movements of patients and staff in and out of the affected ward," said the ministry. Affected patients and staff will also be placed on quarantine.
Such measures, while necessary, will have an adverse impact on hospitals' capacity in caring for patients by reducing the availability of staff and bed capacities, MOH said.
On Tuesday, MOH reported that Changi General Hospital (CGH) was one of eight new clusters.
"(Through) proactive and regular testing in the hospital, we have detected three patient cases of Covid-19 in a ward," said CGH in a Facebook post yesterday.
The hospital added that the cases are not linked to the previous CGH cluster that was officially closed by MOH last Saturday.
The previous cluster had 20 cases and was closed when no new cases were linked to it for two incubation periods (28 days).
"Terminal cleaning in affected areas has been completed, and infection control protocols are in place. Contact tracing and additional surveillance swab tests for patients and staff are routine, and all test results have been negative for the virus," wrote CGH.
Hospital operations are running normally and patients can continue with their outpatient appointments.
MOH also announced on Sunday four cases linked to a new cluster at Yishun Community Hospital (YCH).
"One of our patients staying in YCH ward D98 developed symptoms on July 30. He was swabbed for Covid-19 and the test result was positive," said YCH in a Facebook post on Monday.
Following tests of staff and other patients in ward D98, three asymptomatic patients also tested positive for Covid-19.
"Our top priority now is to contain the transmission of the virus, to ensure the safety of our patients and staff," added YCH.
The Health Ministry said measures for all visits to cease will be exempted for certain patient groups, who will be allowed visitation on a conditional and case-by-case basis. They are:
1. Patients whose conditions have turned very ill;
2. Paediatric patients;
3. Birthing/post-partum mothers; and
4. Patients requiring additional care support from caregivers. For such patients, only one visitor is allowed per day with a duration of no more than 30 minutes at the bedside, said MOH.
For seriously ill patients, up to five pre-designated visitors may be registered, with a maximum of two visitors at the patient's bedside at any one time for no more than 30 minutes.