The Singapore Expo will be the second community isolation facility to house Covid-19 patients who are on the mend or have milder symptoms, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong confirmed yesterday. This is so that hospitals can be freed up to care for patients who need more significant medical attention.
Mr Gan said patients who are more or less recovered, but may still be infectious, will be moved to such facilities. They will be discharged and allowed to return home when confirmed to be clear of the virus. "This is to ensure that we continue to have capacity in our acute hospitals," he said.
The first such site is D'Resort NTUC in Pasir Ris, which can accommodate up to 500 people.
Mr Gan did not say how many patients the Expo in Changi, which is normally used for trade fairs and conventions, could potentially hold.
He said it is also possible that in future, patients with mild symptoms could be admitted to such facilities first, instead of to hospitals. They will be monitored and, if necessary, moved to hospitals later. He said such patients usually do not need much medical support and can recover in community care facilities without needing to go to hospitals at all.
Singapore Expo and Max Atria said on its website yesterday that it will be closed to the public from tomorrow as it is being converted into a community care facility. This means it will be a restricted area.