Singapore — A clinic in Ubi Avenue 1 has been criticised for putting up notices outside its doors that turned away those with fever, flu-like symptoms or were novel coronavirus suspect cases.
The Ubi Family Clinic and Surgery, which is on the ground floor of Block 305, Ubi Avenue 1, has been criticised online for putting up a notice that read: “As advised by the Ministry of Health, for the safety of other patients, please do not enter the clinic if you have fever, flu-like symptoms (eg cough, runny nose, sore throat), travel to China in last 14 days or contact with suspected cases of coronavirus. Please go immediately to a government hospital emergency department.”
There was also another notice that said: “Workers staying at Leo Hostel, 25 Kaki Bukit, with flu symptoms , fever, cough or sore-throat. Pls go hospital directly. Do not come in.”
In response to media queries and to clarify the matter, a doctor said that it was not the clinic’s intention to turn away any possible suspect cases or those who have been in contact with confirmed cases. He added that what the clinic meant was for these patients to wait outside and not enter the clinic, so as to ensure they keep a distance from other patients, especially the elderly and young children.
Prior to the notices being put up, there were reports that a Bangladeshi national who stayed at The Leo dormitory along 25 Kaki Bukit Road had been confirmed to have been infected with the novel coronavirus.
Ubi Family Clinic is about a 20-minute walk from The Leo dormitory.
The doctor said the suspect case was asked to enter the clinic from the back door and that he was attended to in a different room. That patient had fever and was asked to go to the hospital for further checks.
The doctor added that the clinic will amend the notices for clarity. Netizens have, however, said that the wording of the notices was very clear and that they did not believe it was a misunderstanding on the part of the clinic.
Many criticised the doctor for turning away anyone at all during this period.
The World Health Organization has named the coronavirus that has infected people in China and other countries, COVID-19.
As of Wednesday (Feb 12), there are 47 confirmed cases in Singapore. Nine patients have been discharged from hospital. Seven of the 38 patients still in hospital remain in critical condition and in the intensive care unit. /TISG
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