Forum: Raise cap on visitors for critically ill patients

My 90-year-old mother was recently admitted to hospital. She is critically ill and has been in the palliative care ward for more than 14 days.

For critically ill patients, only five pre-designated visitors are allowed, and two visitors can be at the patient's bedside at any one time. Visitors can extend their stay beyond 20 minutes by taking a compulsory antigen rapid test (ART) at the hospital's swab centres; this is regardless of their vaccination status.

As the authorities are preparing for a new normal in which Covid-19 is endemic, I suggest that the list of five pre-designated visitors be increased to 10, so that more loved ones - for example, the spouse and grandchildren - can visit the patient, which would enable the family to have closure.

As long as visitors take the compulsory ART at hospital swab centres before visits, this increase in visitors should be safe.

I hope the authorities will consider this suggestion as it would benefit more people, and is a better approach in the light of preparing for a new normal.

Harvard Wee Seng Chong

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