SINGAPORE: A new COVID-19 treatment facility catering to children and the elderly began operations at Singapore Expo Hall 9 on Monday (Feb 14).
The facility is “designed to take care of the most vulnerable in our community” and has about 600 beds for children and their caregivers, as well as 224 beds for the elderly, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said in a Facebook post.
Mr Ong said that the opening of the facility “comes in a very useful time when we are facing quite a steep Omicron wave”.
“As the Omicron variant is more likely to infect children than the Delta variant, this new facility will complement our hospitals in providing care to paediatric patients should they need to be hospitalised,” Mr Ong said in a Facebook post after visiting the facility.
“The best defence is still to get our children vaccinated.”
In a video accompanying his Facebook post, Mr Ong said that the new facility uses “a lot of automation (and) a lot of technology”. This includes a teleconsultation system and robots for disinfection as well as the delivery and collection of linen.
The facility also has family rooms, which is "important" as this provides a place for children to “move in with a caregiver and recover peacefully and uneventfully”, he said.
The COVID-19 treatment facilities across Halls 7 to 10 of the Singapore Expo can now house more than 2,500 beds, Mr Ong said.
Singapore now has a total of about 4,500 beds at COVID-19 treatment facilities, which take in higher-risk patients who require close observation but do not need to be hospitalised.