Hospitals introduce entry restrictions on those who have been to Tan Tock Seng Hospital's inpatient wards

Hospitals introduce entry restrictions on those who have been to Tan Tock Seng Hospital's inpatient wards

A signboard at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) compound.
A signboard at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) compound. (File photo: AFP/Roslan Rahman)

SINGAPORE: Hospitals have introduced entry restrictions on those who have been to Tan Tock Seng Hospital's inpatient wards amid concerns about the growing COVID-19 cluster linked to the TTSH hospital.

Alexandra Hospital, Changi General Hospital (CGH), JurongHealth Campus, National University Hospital (NUH), KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH), Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) and Singapore General Hospital (SGH) announced the new restriction on their website or Facebook page over the weekend.

Another three community hospitals have also implemented restrictions - Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital, St Andrew's Community Hospital, Yishun Community Hospital.

Thomson Medical, a private hospital, said it does not permit entry for those who have been to TTSH inpatient wards or have family members who have done so.

The move took effect on Sunday (May 2) at Alexandra Hospital, NUH and JurongHealth Campus, which houses Ng Teng Fong General Hospital and Jurong Community Hospital.

Alexandra Hospital said in its Facebook post that "entry of visitors who had been to the wards of Tan Tock Seng Hospital or were warded there from Apr 18, will be declined", while NUH said in its updated visitor policy that it will deny entry to "those who have been admitted to or visited Tan Tock Seng Hospital's inpatient wards from April 18, 2021".

Visitors who have been admitted to or visited TTSH wards on or after Apr 18 will not be allowed to enter patient care areas, said JurongHealth Campus in a Facebook post.

The entry restrictions for CGH, KKH and SGH - hospitals under SingHealth - have been in force since Saturday.

In a clarification to CNA, SingHealth said that the tightened measures apply to visitors, caregivers or accompanying people who have been admitted to or visited TTSH wards from Apr 18. 

"They do not apply to patients seeking treatment at our institutions. Patients who have been admitted to or visited TTSH wards from 18 April should inform our staff when they arrive at our institutions."

COMMUNITY HOSPITALS

Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital in its revised visitor policy said on Facebook: "Anyone who has visited Tan Tock Seng Hospital wards on and after Apr 18, 2021 will not be allowed to enter our hospital."

Visitors who have been to TTSH inpatient wards on or after Apr 18 will not be allowed in the wards at St Andrew's Community Hospital.

Yishun Community Hospital said that visitation is not allowed for its restricted wards. Visitors, caregivers and accompanying people who have been admitted to or visited TTSH wards on or after Apr 18 will not be allowed into the hospital. 

Ren Ci Hospital, which shares the same Novena campus as TTSH, said it is monitoring the cluster closely and will not allow entry to any visitors from Sunday until further notice.

VISITORS TO DECLARE

Other hospitals and polyclinics have asked that visitors declare if they have visited any inpatient wards at TTSH from Apr 18.

The National Healthcare Group, which operates TTSH, has asked that visitors to its polyclinics declare to staff members if they have been to the affected hospital during this period. 

The group operates polyclinics in Ang Mo Kio, Geylang, Hougang, Toa Payoh, Woodlands and Yishun.

SingHealth has also updated the visitor's declaration form on its website for patients or visitors to declare if they have been to TTSH's inpatient wards from Apr 18 onwards.

Bedok, Bukit Merah, Marine Parade, Outram, Pasir Ris, Punggol, Sengkang and Tampines polyclinics are run by SingHealth.

Some private hospitals have also asked visitors to make a similar declaration. These include those run by Parkway Hospitals - Gleneagles Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital and Parkway East Hospital.

The hospitals are also limiting the number of visitors to five a day, with a maximum of two at the patient's bedside at any one time.

READ: TTSH cluster: 88-year-old woman dies from COVID-19 complications

READ: Staff placed on leave of absence, 4 wards locked down as Tan Tock Seng Hospital moves to contain cluster

SINGAPORE'S FIRST HOSPITAL CLUSTER

The Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) cluster is Singapore's first hospital cluster and currently the country's largest with 27 cases as of Sunday.

The first case detected from the cluster is a 46-year-old nurse from the Philippines who tested positive on Apr 27.

On Saturday, MOH reported that one of the patients in the cluster - an 88-year-old woman - has died.

A total of four wards have been locked down at the hospital, which means there will be no movement in and out of those wards except for essential testing.

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Source: CNA/jt(ta)

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