SINGAPORE: No visitors will be allowed at all nursing homes in Singapore for the month of April, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) on Wednesday (Apr 1).
The joint statement came after MOH announced 10 more cases of COVID-19 at the Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home, which reported one case on Tuesday.
Caregivers will be given alternative ways to interact with nursing home residents, such as telephone and video calls, the authorities said.
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Other precautionary measures include safe distancing for all nursing home residents and a reminder that staff members who are unwell must not turn up for work.
Nursing homes with more than 200 beds will also begin to implement split-zones.
MOH and AIC said they have reiterated that nursing homes are to strictly adhere to advisories on COVID-19 precautionary measures and that they will continue to monitor the situation closely, and work with the nursing homes to ensure the safety and well-being of their residents and staff.
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AIC confirmed on Wednesday night that of the 10 new cases linked to the home, eight are residents there (cases 983, 984, 985, 986, 987, 988 and 989), one is an employee who had cared for the home's female residents (case 976), while another is a family member of the employee (case 973).
All staff caring for the home's female residents have been on quarantine order since Tuesday, said AIC, while the remaining staff were placed on quarantine order on Wednesday.
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"MOH and AIC are working to provide Lee Ah Mooi Old Age Home (Thomson) with manpower support during this period to ensure service continuity, so that its residents will not be affected," said AIC.
Case 973 works in a non-patient facing role at the Moral Home for the Aged Sick, said AIC. He has not been to work since suffering symptoms. AIC said it has contacted Moral Home and stepped up monitoring of the health status of residents and staff. So far, all of its residents are well, said AIC.
Singapore reported a total of 74 new COVID-19 on Wednesday, the highest daily increase to date, bringing the national total to 1,000 infections. Of the confirmed cases, 54 are local cases who have no recent travel history.