7 Wards Across 6 Hospitals Close In Recent Weeks Due To Covid-19 Cases Amongst Staff & Patients

As Singapore experiences a surge in Covid-19 cases, our hospitals are not spared from ongoing transmissions.

On Wednesday (29 Sep), the Ministry of Health (MOH) shared that in the past 2 weeks, a total of 130 hospital staff and patients who were warded for other ailments tested positive for Covid-19.

Source

Since then, 6 public hospitals have closed 7 wards in total.

This news comes after MOH banned hospital visits last Friday (24 Sep).

130 Covid-19 cases detected at hospitals

On Wednesday (29 Sep), MOH revealed that in a 2-week period before hospital visits were banned on 24 Sep, 130 Covid-19 cases were detected amongst staff and patients in hospitals, reported The Straits Times (ST).

The ministry specified that the patients were admitted to the affected hospitals for non-Covid-19 ailments.

Hospital staff affected included both clinical as well as support ancillary staff.

These cases necessitated the closure of 7 wards in 6 acute public hospitals.

Staff cross-deployed to mitigate manpower shortage

According to ST, in acute public sector hospitals, about 15% of hospital beds are being used for Covid-19 patients.

To mitigate staff shortages, hospitals have cross-deployed staff from other sectors in the hospital.

But MOH assures that such deployment is done in strict adherence to control measures such as wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment.

The ministry added that all patient-facing staff undergo frequent surveillance testing.

Hospitals Covid-19 cases Source

This ensures that infections are detected early and transmissions within hospitals can be prevented.

MOH also noted that between 13 Sep and 19 Sep, fewer than 1% of all public hospital staff have been placed on a leave of absence, stay-home notice (SHN), quarantine order, or health risk warning.

Led to banning of hospital visits

Last week, MOH said the infections in hospitals led to ward closures and quarantines.

This has put a strain on hospital bed capacity as well as staffing at a crucial time where more beds are needed to care for hospitalised Covid-19 patients.

Thus, the decision was made to ban visitors at hospitals.

Hospital Visits Will Be Banned As Covid-19 Cases Increase Among Staff, Patients & Visitors

However, on a case-by-case basis, specific patient groups are allowed visitors. This includes the critically ill or mothers about to give birth.

But all approved visitors will still have to present a negative antigen rapid test (ART) or polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test within the last 24 hours of each visit.

MOH reiterated that hospitals will continue to provide services and care for both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients, reported Channel NewsAsia (CNA).

Glad MOH is keeping situation under control

Ongoing transmissions are a concern, especially at hospitals where people seek treatment for various illnesses.

Nonetheless, we’re glad MOH is staying on top of the situation and taking necessary actions to keep it under control.

As our healthcare resources come under stress, it’s time we all rally together and do our best to stay safe.

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Featured image adapted from Sengkang General Hospital.