Coronavirus pandemic

Facility set up for patients who are well but test positive for virus

The Health Ministry announced on Tuesday that it had set up an isolation facility which can accommodate 500 people at D'Resort NTUC in Pasir Ris.
The Health Ministry announced on Tuesday that it had set up an isolation facility which can accommodate 500 people at D'Resort NTUC in Pasir Ris.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Patients who are well enough to not require hospitalisation but still test positive for the coronavirus will be moved to a new isolation facility to ensure that hospitals can cope with a possible surge in the number of Covid-19 cases.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced yesterday that it has set up a community isolation facility at D'Resort NTUC in Pasir Ris that can accommodate 500 people.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said: "As the number of Covid-19 cases rises across the world, we expect the number of cases in Singapore to increase. Therefore, we are taking steps to increase our healthcare capacity.

"Over the last few days, we have been sending patients to some private hospitals. Today, we have operationalised a community isolation facility."

Currently, patients who are well enough to be discharged from medical care but still test positive for the coronavirus are isolated in hospitals.

MOH said this is not an efficient use of hospital resources as the patients do not require significant medical care.

The community isolation facility is modelled after existing government quarantine facilities, said MOH director of medical services Kenneth Mak.

He added that while patients in the isolation facility do not require medical care, they will need to be tested for the virus.

"This test would be done once every few days. There is a team, therefore, that goes through the isolation facility to perform these swab tests and bring the swabs back."

The cost of isolation in the community isolation facility will be borne by the Government.

Clara Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 25, 2020, with the headline 'Facility set up for patients who are well but test positive for virus'. Print Edition | Subscribe