Safe management measures at hospital wards, residential care homes extended till Nov 23

The measures were previously set to end on Nov 10.

Fitri Mahad

Probably the only person that likes to hear the koels go ‘uwu’.

Published: 10 November 2022, 2:20 PM

Existing safe management measures at all hospital wards and residential care homes will be extended till Nov 23. 

This is to relieve pressure on hospitals and homes, and to protect vulnerable patients and residents, announced the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a press release on Wednesday (Nov 9).

MOH previously announced the tightening of safe management measures, which spanned from Oct 14 to Nov 10. The extension also applies to public acute hospitals, community hospitals and private hospitals.

While the daily number of local COVID-19 cases have decreased over the past weeks, MOH explained that hospitals continue to be “under stress” with a significant number of COVID-19 patients still warded in hospitals. 

It added that compared to previous months, residential care homes also face an increased number of COVID-19 positive residents on-site.

All hospital patients are allowed two pre-designated visitors, and only one visitor may be allowed at the patient’s bedside at any one point in time. 

Critically-ill patients are allowed up to five pre-designated visitors, and only two are allowed at the bedside at any one point in time. The visit duration for hospitals is limited to 30 minutes.

Visits beyond 30 minutes may be allowed for critically ill and paediatric patients, birthing or post-partum mothers and patients who require additional care support, including those with mental incapacities or have family members who are undergoing caregiver training. These will be permitted on a case-by-case basis at the hospitals’ discretion.

For residential care homes, residents are allowed up to four pre-designated visitors, and only one visitor may visit at any one time for 30 minutes. 

MOH also advised visitors to schedule their visits with the respective homes ahead of time and to strictly adhere to its prevailing safe management measures, such as staying within the designated visitor areas located outside of the wards. 

Visits may be suspended if a residential care home is managing active COVID-19 cases. 

Prior to a visit, visitors are strongly encouraged to test themselves with an antigen rapid test (ART) kit. Face masks with “good filtration capability” including surgical and reusable masks made of two layers of fabric must be worn at all times.

According to MOH, hospitals and residential care homes have the discretion to impose stricter visitor limits or testing requirements for visitors of vulnerable or unvaccinated patients and residents.

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

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