Processes, measures at Covid-19 community care and recovery facilities being reviewed after several staff infected

Healthcare workers at the Singapore Expo community isolation facility on May 8, 2020. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Infection control measures at community care and recovery facilities have come under review, following cases of workers and volunteers being infected.

On Thursday (May 7), the Health Ministry announced that a fourth person working at the Singapore Expo community care facility had contracted the coronavirus.

The ministry is studying how they got the virus, and will also be reinforcing the importance of infection control among ground staff, said Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Friday.

"We are, at the moment, investigating the various positive cases to better understand how transmission could have happened - whether it was from the patients, or... because of staff interaction, or any other source of infection," he told reporters at a virtual press conference.

"With a better understanding of how the transmission happens, that will allow us to decide what additional measures we need to put in place."

At the same time, the Health Ministry (MOH) is reviewing operations to see if there are gaps in infection control measures and making sure ground staff abide by them.

These include healthcare workers, security personnel, cleaners and administrative staff.

MOH's director of medical services Kenneth Mak said: "We want to make sure each of them is properly trained in use of personal protective equipment... and obey and respect infection control measures."

If necessary, the ministry will work with the inter-agency task force to carry out refresher training and inspections.

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He added that the ministry will work to drive home the message of safe distancing both during and outside work hours, such as during breaks.

"We are continuing to improve processes, exercise vigilance, and are working with people on the ground, and are working with the inter-agency task force to make sure that we don't leave any stone unturned."

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