Covid-19 cases in MINDSville@Napiri in Hougang: Residents have not been on outings or gone home since May 7

On June 2, the Ministry of Social and Family Development announced that 27 people at MINDSville had tested positive for Covid-19. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - All residents of MINDSville @ Napiri Adult Disability Home had their outings and home leave suspended since May 7, but they were allowed to keep their medical appointments outside of the premises.

A spokesman for the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (Minds) said that staff members who live in the home have also not been allowed to leave the premises since May 7, except for essential purposes.

Some 34 of the 51 staff live on the premises. Minds manages the home located in Lorong Napiri, in Hougang. There are 112 people with intellectual disability aged 19 to 73 living at MINDSville @ Napiri Adult Disability Home.

On Wednesday night (June 2), the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) announced that 27 people - 23 residents and four staff - at MINDSville @ Napiri Adult Disability Home had tested positive for Covid-19.

A 37-year-old female resident was the first case. She had developed a cough and runny nose on May 29 and a fever the next day.

The resident, a Singaporean, was taken to a polyclinic on May 30. She underwent both an antigen rapid test and polymerase chain reaction test, and both came back positive on May 31. She remains an unlinked case as at June 1.

The Home immediately took additional measures to ensure the health and well-being of its residents and staff. MSF, which funds the Home, said 255 staff and residents have been tested.

Aside from the 163 staff and residents of the adult disability home, 92 staff and residents in the other facilities in the MINDSville @ Napiri Complex were tested.

The complex houses an adult disability home, a children's wing and a training and development centre, among other facilities.

Among the 27 cases who tested positive, 23 were asymptomatic and were discovered through proactive testing, the MSF said.

The ministry added that 91 per cent of the staff and residents of the adult disability home were vaccinated in February and March.

The home has stopped all admissions and the discharging of residents, prohibited all visitors and completed thorough cleaning and disinfection of its premises.

All residents, staff and other close contacts, including clients, visitors and vendors, have been placed in quarantine and will be regularly tested, said the MSF.

A Minds spokesman said residents are living in the adult disability home as they may be unable to look after themselves independently. This may be due to absent or ageing caregivers, multi-disabilities or medical conditions that require constant rehabilitation services and nursing care.

Cleaners arriving at MINDSville @ Napiri Adult Disability Home in Hougang. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

The spokesman said: "A number of them are ageing and some are even destitute. They do not work."

In its media statement, Minds, a charity, said that it tightened the home's safe management measures when Singapore imposed phase two (heightened alert) restrictions, which started on May 16.

These include:

- Daily monitoring of the health of all residents and staff, with their temperatures taken twice a day;

- Implementing split zones and safe distancing for all residents. Meal times and activities for residents are staggered and carried out in small groups;

- Enforcing hand hygiene and personal hygiene protocols for residents; and

- Asking staff to avoid social and physical interaction among themselves. This includes limiting interactions and staff practising safe distancing during common times and in shared spaces.

In its statement, Minds said it "has reached out to the caregivers to assure them that the safety of all the residents, clients and staff is of utmost priority".

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