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MOH to limit visitors at hospitals and residential care homes amid rising COVID-19 cases

The measures will last from Jul 7 to Aug 3.

Nyi Htet

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Published: 6 July 2022, 2:46 PM

In view of the rising COVID-19 cases in Singapore, hospitals and resident care homes will impose a limit on the number of visitors starting from Thursday (Jul 7).

This move is to protect healthcare workers as well as vulnerable patients and residents, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement on Tuesday (Jul 5).

The adjusted measures will be in effect for a period of four weeks until Aug 3.

All patients will be allowed two pre-designated visitors for the duration of their admission, with only one visitor allowed at the bedside at any one time. 

Critically ill patients will be allowed up to five pre-designated visitors, and two visitors may be allowed at the bedside at any one point in time. 

The visit duration will also be capped at 30 minutes. 

“In exceptional situations, such as for critically ill patients, paediatric patients, birthing or postpartum mothers, and for patients requiring additional care support, visitors may be allowed to stay beyond 30 minutes on a case-by-case basis at the hospitals’ discretion,” said MOH. 

Visitors must ensure that they are well and are strongly encouraged to test themselves with an Antigen Rapid Test (ART) on the day of the visit. 

MOH added that hospitals have the discretion to impose stricter visitor limits or testing requirements for visitors of vulnerable or unvaccinated patients. 

Visitors should also not eat or drink in the hospital wards, or use the toilet designated for patients. They should avoid sitting on patients’ beds as well. 

For in-person visits at homes, residents will be allowed up to four pre-designated visitors, and only one visitor may visit at any one time. 

The visit duration will also be limited to 30 minutes. 

MOH said that visitors should continue to schedule their visits ahead of time with the home. 

Similarly, visitors are to ensure that they are well and are strongly encouraged to test themselves with an ART before visiting. 

Visitors should also adhere to the existing safe management measures within the homes, including remaining within the designated visitor areas and outside of the wards. 

Visits may be suspended if a home is managing active COVID-19 cases, said MOH.

All visitors must don face masks with good filtration capability at all times. This includes surgical masks and reusable masks made using two layers of fabric. 

The public should test and isolate themselves when unwell, and to seek out medical care should their condition worsen. 

MOH said: “They should only seek medical treatment at a hospital’s Emergency Department only for serious or life-threatening emergencies, such as chest pain, breathlessness and uncontrollable bleeding.

“This allows those with severe illness in need of emergency care to be attended to quickly and helps to preserve our hospital capacity for those who truly need acute hospital care.”

MOH said that it will regularly review and calibrate these measures in line with the evolving COVID-19 situation.

“The number of hospitalisation cases has reached almost 700 now, so it has increased quite significantly,” said Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung in Parliament on Tuesday. 

Mr Ong added that Singapore is near, if not already at, the peak of the current wave of COVID-19 infections.

However, he noted that the current wave will not be as severe as the previous Omicron wave, attributing it to the effectiveness of booster shots and recovery from infections. 

Singapore recorded a total of 12,784 COVID-19 cases with two fatalities on Tuesday (Jul 5).

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