Coronavirus pandemic

450 recovering patients housed at Singapore Expo

Staff at the Singapore Expo yesterday. Patients have been housed in two halls there, while four other halls will open progressively.
Staff at the Singapore Expo yesterday. Patients have been housed in two halls there, while four other halls will open progressively.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

About 450 patients recovering from Covid-19 are being housed in two halls of the Singapore Expo, taking up almost half of their current capacity.

Four other halls at the building will open progressively, a multi-agency task force handling the Covid-19 outbreak said yesterday.

Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, director of medical services at the Ministry of Health, said that as of Monday, 297 patients were staying at the place, and another 150 were moved there yesterday.

"As of now, the patients in the community care facility are well, and they are looked after by the medical teams that we have established within the two halls... at the Expo," he said.

Other halls will be opened in stages until full capacity has been reached, he added.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong, who was also at the virtual press conference yesterday, said the two halls in operation have a total capacity of about 950.

A third hall will be ready for use soon.

The Straits Times had earlier reported that one of the two halls would house those who are in recovery while the other would be for patients diagnosed as mild cases.

Singapore Expo, a building for holding exhibitions, has been converted to the country's second community isolation facility for Covid-19 patients, after D'Resort NTUC, a recreational complex with chalets.

Mr Gan said yesterday that the Government is exploring more such facilities to provide additional capacity to give Singapore a greater buffer. He did not elaborate.

Patients who are moved to these facilities include those recovering in hospitals and those who have the disease but are in stable condition, such as some foreign workers.

Mr Gan said: "Most of the foreign worker patients are young and few have underlying conditions. Hence, we expect few would need extensive medical care."

Toh Ting Wei

LISTEN TO HEALTH CHECK PODCAST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2020, with the headline '450 recovering patients housed at S'pore Expo'. Subscribe