Suspension of visits to residential care homes in Singapore extended until Oct 24

The delay seeks to buy more time for seniors to get vaccinated or receive their booster shots. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Visits to residential care homes will continue to be suspended until Oct 24, in line with other restrictions, such as reduced group sizes and work-from-home arrangements as the default mode, that are currently in place until then.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday (Oct 5) that it has judged it prudent to keep in-person visits suspended in view of the continued rise of Covid-19 cases within the community and the emergence of new clusters at residential care homes in the past two weeks.

The suspension had previously been set to run till next Monday.

The suspension began on Sept 13, with the ministry citing 42 coronavirus cases across 18 aged-care facilities or providers in the previous two weeks.

The delay seeks to buy more time for seniors, who are more vulnerable to complications caused by Covid-19, to get vaccinated or receive their booster shots.

Residential care homes will continue to offer caregivers or next of kin the option of telephone or video calls as an alternative to physical visits.

"We urge the next of kin of unvaccinated seniors in the homes to support and encourage their loved ones to get vaccinated," MOH added.

"We will observe the situation in the coming weeks and will review the suspension of visitation accordingly."

Seniors have died almost every day from Covid-19 in recent weeks.

On Monday, eight seniors aged between 60 and 94 died, five of whom were vaccinated and three unvaccinated, bringing the total of Covid-19 deaths to 121.

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