As of Wednesday (22 Jan), the mysterious pneumonia virus that originated from Wuhan has claimed 6 lives and infected more than 400 patients across 6 countries. There are also fears that the virus might mutate and spread even further.
In light of this, public hospitals in Singapore have raised their defences to guard against infectious disease and curb its potential spread.
Among a number of new measures, all patients at emergency departments would have to undergo a compulsory screening.
Additionally, hospitals will isolate all pneumonia patients who travelled to China 2 weeks before showing any of the viral symptoms.
ST reports that general practitioners are also on alert for symptoms, and have a specific hotline to call should they encounter any suspected patients.
Once they call the hotline, a “special” ambulance will ferry the suspected patient to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID). This will hopefully allow healthcare personnel to manage the spread of the virus from its roots.
The NCID, housed in Tan Tock Seng Hospital, is the nation’s quarantine centre for patients infected with highly contagious diseases.
The facility has over 330 beds, of which 100 have been left vacant and kept on standby for “national emergencies”, according to ST.
NCID staff working with these diseases are also well-protected and have been equipped with personal protective equipment and respirators.
That’s not all. The NCID also houses a large stockpile of these equipment that’s reportedly enough to supply all hospitals, should there be an outbreak.
Changi Airport, our first line of defence against this infectious virus, will also intensify its precautionary measures.
From Tuesday (21 Jan), the travel hub will carry out temperature screening for all flight arriving from China. Screenings were only conducted for flights from Wuhan previously.
While we’ve yet to detect the infectious virus here on our shores, we’re nonetheless glad that the health authorities are taking precautions to prevent the virus from spreading, should it make its way here.
Even though the new measures may bring about additional hassle for Singaporeans, let’s all tahan a little.
After all, a few extra minutes of your time might go a long way in helping to curb the spread of the virus.
Featured image adapted from Wikipedia.
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