SINGAPORE: Eighteen COVID-19 positive patients who had stayed at community care facility D'Resort between 38 and 51 days were discharged after it was determined that they were no longer infectious to others.
Responding to queries from CNA, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Saturday (May 16) that the 18 patients, who were "clinically very well" and had stayed at D'Resort for "prolonged periods", were referred to a medical review committee.
These patients had persistently tested positive for COVID-19, MOH said.
"The committee deliberated on each of these cases individually and determined that the patients are shedding dead viral components, detectable through the PCR test, but which are no longer transmissible and infective to others," said MOH. "After careful consideration, the Ministry of Health decided that these individuals can be cleared for discharge."
READ: 'I'm happy to be home but I'm also stuck': For a COVID-19 positive patient deemed well enough for discharge, concerns remain
As an added precautionary measure, these patients are required to be home quarantined for a further seven days, said MOH.
"Infectious diseases experts have advised the Ministry of Health that patients are unlikely to be infectious beyond 14 days from their onset of illness, as the virus can no longer be cultured from biological samples taken from these patients, even if they continue to test PCR positive," added MOH.
"However, we will adopt a cautious approach, while continuing to consult with local and international experts. Meanwhile, we will review the status of COVID-19 patients with prolonged stays at our community care facilities and consider if they need to remain in isolation, on a case-to-case basis."