9 New Covid-19 Cases Confirmed By MOH, 6 Of Them Linked To The Grace Assembly Of God Cluster
Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed today (14 Feb) 9 new cases of Covid-19 in Singapore.
6 of them are linked to the newly discovered Grace Assembly of God cluster. While 1 other patient works with the Public Utilities Board (PUB) in their Environment Building.
Today’s number surpasses yesterday’s (13 Feb) record of 8 cases. There are now a total of 67 cases in Singapore.
3 of 6 new cases linked to church cluster worked there
3 of the patients linked to the church cluster work there, including one pastor.
The Environment Building was evacuated for disinfection, with all 70 employees asked to work from home for the day.
PUB has confirmed that the affected staff member handled administrative work, and did not work at any plants or in the field.
The other 2 cases include one 61 year-old male Singapore Citizen who worked at a private hospital, but has not been to work since the onset of symptoms. He began feeling ill on 7 Feb and visited Farrer Park Hospital’s emergency care clinic on 10 Feb.
He was transferred to NCID on 13 Feb, and tested positive for Covid-19.
6 in ICU, while 17 recover from Covid-19
In more positive news, 2 more patients were discharged today, bringing the total number of recoveries to 17.
Elsewhere, 6 patients are reported to still be in critical condition.
It has been noted that the elderly, those with chronic conditions, and those in poor health are at greater risk.
5-day MC for those with respiratory symptoms
Meanwhile, the MOH has announced a new plan to re-task GP clinics with specific roles to fight the spread of the virus.
The Ministry is designating them as Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs), and they will provide subsidised treatment for respiratory symptoms.
Noting that many of the confirmed cases had “[circulated] in the community” or reported to work despite symptoms, MOH has also directed GPs to begin issuing 5-day medical certificates (MCs) to patients.
These are some of the proactive steps that the Ministry is taking to combat further community spread. Many patients display milder symptoms first and remain infectious during this period.
The Ministry therefore encourages adhering to the MC duration to reduce infection risk.
PHPCs activated from 18 Feb
The 900 GP clinics designated as PHPCs will be gradually activated from Tuesday (18 Feb) onwards. They will provide subsidised treatment, investigations, and medication.
The list of PHPCs is available online here.
During 2009’s H1N1 Swine Flu epidemic, PHPCs were also activated.
All Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents (PRs) who have respiratory illnesses will be offered the special subsidies. Polyclinics will also offer the same treatment.
Citizens and PRs will be able to pay a flat subsidised rate of S$10 for their consultation and treatment. Those from the Pioneer and Merdeka Generations will only have to pay S$5.
The Ministry has explained that the move allows the government to improve tracking and monitoring, and will be invaluable in the fight to contain Covid-19.
They however note that this measure will only work if civilians are responsible. The Ministry urges anyone unwell to go see a doctor and seek treatment, and observe the 5-day MC duration.
The Ministry stated:
Mixing in large crowds, or continuing to go to work or school when ill, even with mild symptoms, will put others at risk.
Lastly, it noted that with enhanced surveillance, it is likely that more cases will emerge in the coming days.
This however, does not represent a worsening of circumstances, but rather an improvement as we begin to better appreciate the reality of the situation.
A more accurate picture can only be beneficial in our continued fight against Covid-19. Through community cooperation and practices, the spread of the virus can be contained, and the tide can be turned.