6 polyclinics open for 2 weekends for patients with acute respiratory infection symptoms

During the extended hours, Bukit Panjang Polyclinic (above) and five others will manage only patients with acute respiratory infection symptoms, such as fever, cough, flu or runny nose. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - For this weekend and the next, six polyclinics will be operating on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. The six are Bukit Panjang, Eunos, Kallang, Pioneer, Punggol and Woodlands polyclinics. 

This is to support the national Covid-19 response and manage the patient load, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Saturday (Feb 26). The extended operating hours on Feb 26 and 27 and March 5 and 6 will be updated here.

During the extended hours, the six polyclinics will manage only patients with acute respiratory infection symptoms, such as fever, cough, flu or runny nose.

Patients who do not have these symptoms but require other medical care during these hours are advised to visit general practitioner clinics, MOH said.

The latest move comes amid increased strain on Singapore's healthcare system, as the nation saw a record 26,032 Covid-19 infections on Tuesday.

Doctors at some Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs) are also getting staff to perform additional shifts and hiring people in order to extend operating hours and ease the strain on their colleagues in the healthcare system.

Selected PHPCs across the island will operate up till 11pm on weekdays, from 2pm to 5pm on weekends, and from 8pm to 11pm on weekend nights from Feb 25 to March 10.

The list of clinics providing the extended hours, which is being updated progressively, can also be found here.

MOH encourages those who require medical attention to consult a primary care doctor first, and go to the emergency department at hospitals only for emergency cases.

"We encourage only those who are unwell to seek medical attention. Individuals who test positive for Covid-19 and have mild or no symptoms should consider self-recovery at home, under Protocol 2," said the ministry.

Protocol 2 involves isolating at home for the first 72 hours after testing positive, followed by an antigen rapid test, and ending isolation after getting a negative result.

"We seek everyone's continued effort and cooperation to do our part to preserve our medical resources for those who need them most," said MOH.

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