Covid-19 testing, isolation guidelines to be streamlined and simplified: Ong Ye Kung

Procedures such as testing and isolation protocols have evolved as Singapore moves to live with the virus in the stabilisation phase. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Covid-19 healthcare measures on what people should do will be streamlined and simplified amid complaints of frustration and confusion over the many terms and procedures currently in use.

These procedures include testing and isolation guidelines introduced earlier but which have since evolved as Singapore moves to live with the coronavirus in the stabilisation phase.

New measures include health risk alerts and health risk warnings introduced recently.

"Few people truly remember or understand (the protocols)... it needs to be addressed because if people do not understand, they cannot do their part or help others," said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung. He was speaking at a virtual press conference on Saturday (Oct 2) held by the multi-ministry task force on the pandemic.

He acknowledged that the confusion also contributes to apprehension, where some may see Covid-19 as a "very serious disease" when it is actually a "mild illness for those who have been vaccinated".

"We hope to present these simplified protocols soon," said Mr Ong, who co-chairs the task force.

Giving an update on the situation on Saturday, the task force noted that despite the current wave, which has recently seen more than 2,000 new cases daily, 98 per cent of those infected had either mild symptoms or were asymptomatic.

The Straits Times had earlier reported that frustration was mounting amid confusion, in part, surrounding the home recovery programme that was rolled out on Sept 15.

During the 10-day isolation period, some under the programme said they could not contact the Ministry of Health for official advice on their specific situations.

For others, they said they experienced long lag times between testing positive for the virus and being taken to a recovery facility.

A chat group - SG Quarantine Order Support Group - has also surfaced on messaging app Telegram for people to share their experiences and pool information.

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the task force, also acknowledged that there were teething issues around the home recovery programme, among others, and noted the difficulties people face getting through to the helpline.

He thanked everyone for their patience and understanding and added that the entire team is working flat out to resolve outstanding issues.

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