Visitor restrictions tightened at Tan Tock Seng Hospital after nurse tests positive for COVID-19

Visitor restrictions tightened at Tan Tock Seng Hospital after nurse tests positive for COVID-19

A file photo showing the exterior of Tan Tock Seng Hospital
A file photo showing the exterior of Tan Tock Seng Hospital. (Photo: TODAY)

SINGAPORE: Visitor restrictions at Tan Tock Seng Hospital have been tightened after a nurse tested positive for COVID-19.

In a Facebook post late Wednesday (Apr 28) night, the hospital said it would tighten its ward visiting policy until further notice, with only two pre-registered visitors allowed throughout a patient’s stay.

UPDATE: No visitors allowed in Tan Tock Seng Hospital wards after nurse tests positive for COVID-19

These two visitors cannot be changed throughout the patient's hospital stay, said Tan Tock Seng Hospital on its website.

Previously, the hospital allowed two visitors at a time during visiting hours, with up to eight different people allowed per day.

“We will monitor the situation and renew our policy accordingly," said the hospital in the Facebook post.

Other visitor restrictions, such as maintaining a safe distance of 1m and sanitising hands before ward entry, remain unchanged.

READ: Nurse at Tan Tock Seng Hospital tests positive for COVID-19; affected ward locked down

All staff members in the main hospital's ward block will also be swabbed for COVID-19.

The nurse, a 46-year-old Philippine national, was among the three community infections reported on Wednesday. She was deployed at Ward 9D, a general ward.

She developed a cough, sore throat and body aches on Tuesday and sought treatment at the hospital. She tested positive for COVID-19 on the same day and was warded at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases.

The nurse received her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on Jan 26, and the second dose on Feb 18. A doctor and three patients who were cared for in the same ward have tested "preliminarily positive", said the Ministry of Health (MOH).

READ: 3 community cases among 23 new COVID-19 infections in Singapore, including ICA officer and TTSH nurse

The doctor has also been admitted to the NCID, said the hospital in the Facebook post.

Immediate measures have been taken to lock down the ward and visitors to the ward will not be allowed until further notice, said the hospital.

"Close staff contacts have been swabbed and are being placed on leave of absence pending further investigations," said the hospital.

All patients in the affected ward will be swabbed and isolated.

"We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience these measures will cause but they are necessary to contain the situation and protect our patients and staff," said the hospital.

VISITOR RESTRICTIONS

During Singapore's "circuit breaker" period last year, most patients warded in hospitals were not allowed to have visitors in line with stricter safe distancing measures.

Only patients in certain cases were allowed to have one caregiver at a time, on compassionate grounds or where it was essential for the patient's well-being.

Under Phase 1, patients were allowed to have visitors who are from the same or one other household. Each patient was allowed to have one visitor at a time, and up to five visitors could be pre-registered with hospitals.

These restrictions were further relaxed in Phase 2, when patients warded in acute and community hospitals were allowed to receive up to five visitors from different households per day. Two visitors were allowed at a time.

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Source: CNA/ga

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