Staff of eldercare services to undergo coronavirus testing

Pacific Healthcare Nursing Home, where a Covid-19 case was confirmed in April. The Ministry of Health said on Sunday that it had completed testing all nursing home employees and residents for the coronavirus. Staff of eldercare services in operation,
Pacific Healthcare Nursing Home, where a Covid-19 case was confirmed in April. The Ministry of Health said on Sunday that it had completed testing all nursing home employees and residents for the coronavirus. Staff of eldercare services in operation, including those at daycare centres, will be progressively tested this month.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Staff of eldercare services in operation, including those at daycare centres, will be progressively tested for the coronavirus this month.

This follows the completion of the testing last month of staff and residents at residential care homes.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor announced the new group for surveillance testing in Parliament yesterday, in her reply to Ms Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar GRC) and Ms Cheryl Chan (Fengshan).

The Ministry of Health said on Sunday that it had completed testing all nursing home employees and residents.

Five had tested positive - four are residents of Orange Valley Nursing Home and one is a staff member from Ren Ci @ Ang Mo Kio.

Dr Khor said Covid-19 swab testing complements the existing precautionary measures in place for eldercare services, such as strict infection control, safe distancing and visitor restrictions.

Senior activity centres (SACs) and Community Resource, Engagement and Support Team providers have been allowed to gradually resume some activities in phase one of the post-circuit breaker period to address the psychosocial well-being of senior citizens.

Ms Pereira asked if there were training and resources given to staff at these centres for ensuring good and better hygiene habits.

Dr Khor replied: "Before the SACs can resume on-site activities, they are required to undertake a readiness assessment, and also to propose plans on infection prevention and control and safe distancing measures."

She added that the Agency of Integrated Care (AIC) conducts spot checks to ensure the measures are implemented.

The AIC has also conducted webinars on the necessary infection prevention and control measures, and provided resource kits to these centres and providers.

Senior activity centres and Community Resource, Engagement and Support Team providers have been allowed to gradually resume some activities in phase one of the post-circuit breaker period to address the psychosocial well-being of senior citizens.

As of yesterday, 27 senior activity centres have passed the readiness assessment checks and have reopened, said Dr Khor.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 06, 2020, with the headline 'Staff of eldercare services to undergo coronavirus testing'. Print Edition | Subscribe