Singapore— With Covid-19 cases rising, the Ministry of Health (MOH) asked hospitals on Monday (May 3) to delay non-urgent surgeries and give priority to the treatment of Covid patients.
In a statement, MOH said it is “working closely with all public and private hospitals to ensure that patients requiring care will continue to be attended to”.
“The healthcare community has also worked together to reserve more beds to manage any potential increase in Covid-19 cases,” it said.
“To conserve resources across the healthcare sector, MOH has asked all hospitals to defer non-urgent surgeries and admissions as well as non-urgent SOC appointments until further notice,” the ministry added.
This means that hospitals will reach out to affected patients concerning the postponement of their surgeries and admissions. MOH added that the healthcare teams of hospitals will arrange for teleconsultations and alternative care arrangements for patients when appropriate, “until the current situation stabilises”.
What the public should do:
- MOH is urging the public to only visit hospitals’ emergency rooms in cases of emergencies and life-threatening conditions including “persistent chest pain, breathlessness, sudden weakness and numbness, serious injuries and multiple trauma”.
- In cases of non-emergency situations, people should reach out to general practitioners or doctors at the polyclinics.
- People with respiratory symptoms should go to Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs). At these clinics, Singapore citizens and permanent residents only need to pay a flat subsidised rate of S$10 for consultation and treatment while members of the Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation need to pay only S$5.
- While no hospital will deny medical care to patients who need it, stricter measures may be implemented toward patients’ visitors as a precautionary measure. This includes asking visitors or accompanying persons who went Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) inpatient wards from April 18 onwards to desist from visiting hospitals.
The ministry also announced that TTSH has stopped admitting patients.
There are now 40 cases linked to the TTSH cluster, the largest of the nine active clusters.
As of noon on Tuesday (May 4) MOH reported 17 new coronavirus cases.
This puts the country’s total at 61,252.
Five of the new cases are from the community, all of them detected while testing patients, visitors and staff at TTSH, and their close contacts.
The new cases are all under quarantine.
There are no new cases in migrant workers’ dormitories.
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