SINGAPORE - There are now more than 2,300 beds across 17 sites to cater for higher-risk Covid-19 patients who require close observation but are not so ill that they need to be hospitalised, said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung on Saturday (Nov 6).
These Covid-19 treatment facilities (CTFs) were set up over the past two months to reduce the load on public hospitals and take in more stable patients who need further monitoring, such as seniors who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms but have chronic illnesses and are at risk of severe illness.
There will be more than 3,000 beds from next week, with the new 721-bed facility at the F1 Pit Building starting operations on Nov 9. More of such facilities are in the pipeline.
"We expect to add even more CTF capacity, reaching around 4,000 beds by the end of this month," Mr Ong said on Facebook.
Mr Ong had said in early October that the aim was to set up nine CTFs here with an overall capacity of 3,700 beds by end-October.
Mr Ong said he visited the new facility at the F1 Pit Building earlier this week to thank the team behind the project.
He said it was all hands on deck for those involved, and this saw the facility completed in under a month.
MOH Holdings and Surbana Jurong planned and designed the facility, which will be manned and operated by the National University Health System and private healthcare firm Health Management International.
MOH Holdings is the holding company of Singapore's public healthcare institutions.
At the back end, public healthcare technology agency Integrated Health Information Systems helped to provide tech support for the F1 Pit Building facility, with more than 80 computers-on-wheels deployed.
Hotel group Mandarin Oriental has come in to engage seniors who will be staying at the facility and curated a healthy menu for them, Mr Ong said.
"Many thanks also to Singapore Tourism Board for offering this space to us temporarily, during this time of urgent need," he added.
"From turning around F1 cars, (the) pit building will soon be used to turn around Covid-19 patients and help them recover."
Earlier in the week, Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary told Parliament that the Ministry of Health has been working with public, community and private hospitals to set aside more beds for Covid-19 patients.
He also said that less than half of the beds in the CTFs are currently occupied.