Coronavirus: 22 patients in ICU, hospitals have nearly 150 vacant ICU beds and can add another 450 by mid-May

At present, only 22 of the more than 18,000 Covid-19 patients are in intensive care.
At present, only 22 of the more than 18,000 Covid-19 patients are in intensive care.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The number of isolation beds has increased from around 550 in January to close to 1,500 as of May to ensure hospitals have enough capacity to care for coronavirus patients, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Monday (May 4).

The National Centre for Infectious Diseases has also increased its capacity from around 100 negative pressure isolation beds to more than 500 such beds in the same period.

Mr Gan added that Singapore has almost 150 vacant intensive care beds, and can quickly bring another 300 on board.

At present, only 22 of the more than 18,000 Covid-19 patients are in intensive care.

"But we are not taking any chances as we must preserve our buffer capacity," Mr Gan said.

Public hospitals have put in place plans to ensure that their infrastructure, equipment, medications and manpower are in place to add another 450 intensive care unit beds by the middle of this month, if it is necessary.

Singapore has also ensured that it has enough ventilators and other medical equipment to support the care of such patients, he said.