SINGAPORE: Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) personnel tasked with managing the country's COVID-19 home recovery programme have handed over their responsibilities to the Ministry of Health (MOH), said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Wednesday (Nov 24).
As the programme is now stable, it is a "good time" to hand over to MOH, said Dr Ng in posts to his official social media accounts.
In September, the SAF was roped in to support the home recovery programme, as the newly introduced programme was strained amid a surge in cases.
Home recovery allows most COVID-19 patients with mild symptoms to recover at home rather than at hospitals or specialised facilities.
Servicemen helped man hotlines to provide information to patients recovering at home, with more than 450 personnel from the army, navy and air force deployed.
"NSFs (full-time National Servicemen) served as home recovery buddies – providing the first line of contact to patients placed on HRP, assisting them for administrative procedures and ensuring that communication channels remained open for patients," said Dr Ng on Wednesday.
In his post, Dr Ng thanked the servicemen for making a "positive difference" in helping patients recover at home, adding that this prevented Singapore's healthcare system from being overwhelmed.
"SAF commanders, and other personnel tasked to manage the Home Recovery Programme (HRP) since September, have performed well," he said.
"They streamlined processes, introduced digital solutions as well as ensured the right care for different groups of residents infected with COVID-19."
Dr Ng added that a team of SAF advisors would continue to "remain embedded to ensure a smooth transition".