First patients arrive at stepped-up community treatment facility
The first patients arrived at Singapore's first Covid-19 stepped-up community treatment facility (CTF) in Tampines Street 22 when it opened yesterday.
At around 11am, three Covid-19 patients were seen alighting from specially hired vehicles at the facility.
Staff in personal protective equipment (PPE) rolled out wheelchairs to receive two of them, both elderly women, one of whom wore a fever patch on her forehead. The third patient was an elderly man.
The CTF, at the site of NTUC Health Nursing Home (Tampines), has been repurposed and fitted with 250 beds meant for Covid-19 patients who are generally well but have underlying health conditions that need close monitoring, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a Facebook post yesterday.
These patients include the elderly and those who have chronic illnesses such as cardiac, neurological or respiratory diseases. Those with comorbidities, such as hypertension and diabetes, may also be admitted to the CTF.
Infected nursing home residents will be prioritised for admission to prevent further spread in such facilities.
Stepped-up CTFs will help to ensure the limited capacity in hospitals is reserved for Covid-19 patients who need close and specialised medical attention - such as oxygen supplementation or intensive care.
"This will augment our hospital capacity and allow us to provide treatment for the seriously ill patients in our hospitals," MOH said.
In a statement to The Straits Times, Woodlands Health said equipment for measuring vital signs are available at the CTF. For additional diagnostic requirements, handheld ultrasound devices will be used.
Woodlands Health added that it worked with NTUC Health and Resorts World Sentosa, the managing agent, to set up the facility.
Existing residents at the NTUC Health Nursing Home have been transferred to other branches.
Several other community care facilities (CCF) will have a portion of their beds converted to stepped-up types, such as by adding medical monitoring devices. For instance, the CCF at Singapore Expo's Connect@Changi, which is run by Raffles Medical, will have 50 such beds by today.