Government-run Woodlands Care Home becomes second nursing home to have resident with Covid-19

Woodlands Care Home at 2 Woodlands Rise has 248 beds in its facility. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - Another nursing home in Singapore has been hit by Covid-19, raising fresh concerns about vulnerable seniors.

On Monday (April 13), a 77-year-old male resident of Vanguard Healthcare's Woodlands Care Home (WLCH) at 2 Woodlands Rise was confirmed to be infected with Covid-19.

The resident, known as Case 2,561, tested positive for the infection on Sunday afternoon (April 12), and is now in an isolation room at Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital. It is not clear how he got infected, MOH said.

Unlike residents-only nursing homes that had stopped receiving visitors, Vanguard stayed open because it also houses a senior day care centre on its premises. The centre provides day care, dementia day care and rehabilitation services to senior citizens in the area.

The Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) said the centre was allowed to remain open during the circuit-breaker period of enhanced social distancing measures to provide care for clients with no alternative arrangements.

With the confirmed case, the senior care centre has been closed and alternative arrangements have been made for its clients.

In a statement, AIC said that it was working with the Ministry of Health (MOH) to support WLCH in managing the situation.

WLCH, which is run by the Government, has conducted a thorough cleaning and disinfection of the resident's ward and affected areas of the home. It has 248 beds in its facility.

Contact tracing is ongoing and those who had close contact with the resident, including any WLCH staff, will be quarantined.

The Straits Times has reached out to AIC and MOH to find out if the rest of the seniors from the home and centre will be tested, isolated or quarantined.

AIC said that it is working to provide WLCH with manpower support to ensure service continuity, so that residents of the home will not be affected.

Nursing homes have become hotbeds for Covid-19 infections in many parts of the world.

On Monday, Canada's public health office reported that close to half of the 735 deaths in the country so far are linked to long-term care facilities.

In the United States, 127 out of 163 elderly residents of a nursing home in the state of Virginia have tested positive for Covid-19. 42 of those patients have died.

In Singapore, Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home was the first home to have a case of Covid-19 infection. It saw an outbreak following the first reported case on April 1, with 16 linked cases and two deaths, both 86-year-old female residents.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.