Over 90 hotels in S'pore have served as quarantine or stay-home notice facilities

The hotels are activated based on current needs, said the Ministry of National Development.
The hotels are activated based on current needs, said the Ministry of National Development.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - As Covid-19 infections continue to rise, the number of hotels that have served as isolation facilities has jumped from more than 70 in May to more than 90 as at Wednesday (Aug 4).

Since March last year, these hotels have - at some point - been used as government quarantine facilities or stay-home notice dedicated facilities (SDFs).

They are activated based on current needs, the Ministry of National Development (MND) told The Straits Times.

It did not say how many hotels are currently serving as such facilities.

SDFs refer to accommodation for incoming travellers who are issued with stay-home notices, while government quarantine facilities are for those who need to be isolated, as they have come into close contact with Covid-19 cases.

Depending on the circumstances, people who are under a quarantine order or SHN can also serve it at home, MND noted.

As at Wednesday, there were around 14,000 people under quarantine, 5,000 of whom were placed in government quarantine facilities, according to data from the Ministry of Health (MOH).

On Tuesday, MOH apologised for delays in ferrying people under quarantine orders to the facilities.

It said the number of people under quarantine has "increased many fold" with the emergence of Covid-19 clusters linked to KTV lounges and Jurong Fishery Port, as well as other smaller clusters.

The surge led to delays, as well as "communications gaps" for some under quarantine, said MOH.

Most of the backlog has since been cleared and the situation "should settle down", it added.

Last week, a total of 14,770 quarantine orders were issued, or an average of 2,110 a day. This number is now down to an average of around 1,490, from Sunday to Tuesday.

When new hotels are contracted as government quarantine facilities or SDFs, the staff will need to undergo necessary training to manage the operational requirements, said MND.

"Hotels which have been activated as government quarantine facilities and SDFs must abide by strict infection prevention and control and security protocols to ensure the safety and security of persons under SHN, persons under quarantine and staff," it said.