SDP Release 8-Step Pandemic Plan On 28 Sep
The Covid-19 pandemic has turned lives topsy-turvy, and many of us are struggling to cope with the near-constant changes brought about by the Delta variant.
The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has developed an 8-step plan to exit the pandemic and released it on Tuesday (28 Sep).
It aims to help the vulnerable most, and make it so that we don’t have uncertain blanket restrictions that can appear whenever cases increase.
We summarise them below. If you’d like to check the full details, you can visit this link.
Reduce testing for asymptomatic cases under SDP plan
Ensuring that we help the most vulnerable is part of SDP’s strategy.
With most cases showing no or only mild symptoms, SDP proposes that we stop testing vaccinated cases with no symptoms apart from contact tracing purposes.
It argued that resources can then be concentrated on the elderly and vulnerable instead.
Check if cases need to be hospitalised at GPs or polyclinics
In response to the latest surge of infections, the government implemented a home recovery programme so the hospitals won’t be overwhelmed.
With a move to treating Covid-19 as endemic, hospitalisation need not be the recourse.
SDP said those who test positive, including pregnant women and children, should report to their nearest Public Health Preparedness Clinic for evaluation.
This is similar to other infectious diseases like urinary tract infections or food poisoning.
It noted that GPs should be compensated for providing care in these instances.
Segregate infectious but stable nursing home patients
Instead of using community facilities, SDP proposes facilitating nursing homes to keep stable infected patients segregated within the homes.
GPs can check on them to decide if they require hospitalisation.
Dedicated ambulance hotline
During the SARS period, there was a dedicated ambulance hotline.
SDP proposes the same for positive Covid-19 cases or contacts who have low oxygen concentrations.
They can then be sent quickly to the hospital.
Publish regular reports on test positivity and all clusters
Recently, MOH announced that they would release a map of places visited by Covid-19 cases from 1 Oct.
SDP also argues for regular reports on positive cases and clusters, as with dengue cluster reports.
This, it said, will help the public seek medical attention if they get symptoms after visiting a cluster area.
Stop blanket restrictions
With restrictions affecting some places more than others, there’ve been concerns about the effect of stop-start closures and openings.
Instead, SDP said interventions should be the way forward.
It proposes shutting down physical buildings where outbreaks have occurred rather than across the whole island.
It argued that this would be more stable for businesses.
Intensify genetic fingerprinting process
SDP proposes that public hospitals and referral labs should perform genetic fingerprinting for each positive case.
This information should then be fed into the World Health Organization’s (WHO) GISAID, which provides open access to genomic data on viruses.
The information should then be publicly available, making identification of large clusters reliable, SDP said.
Conduct clinical trials on WHO-approved vaccines
Finally, SDP asked for rapid adaptive design randomised clinical trials on all WHO-approved vaccines.
It said that the vaccines can be studied for use as boosters or even primary doses with rapid commissioning and funding.
Other preventative agents, for example, povidone-iodine, should be tested in similar clinical trials as well.
There’ve been many questions regarding alternative treatments, but not enough trialling for them. SDP says trialling other preventative agents can help answer these questions scientifically.
SDP plan claims to be more predictable
SDP argues that the current handling of the pandemic “(lacks) a clear strategy”. The “reactive” nature of the approach has also impacted employers and employees, it said.
The 8-point plan thus seeks to make the strategy more predictable.
It remains to be seen if these initiatives will be adopted, nor if these initiatives will be discussed in Parliament as SDP has no representatives there.
However, with an infectious diseases expert like Paul Tambyah in the healthcare panel, which drew up the plan, we wonder if there will be more discussion in the future.
For now, if you have questions, Prof Tambyah will be hosting a Q&A tonight.
What do you think of this plan? Let us know in the comments.
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Featured image by MS News.