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Visits to hospitals and residential care homes to resume with enhanced vaccine-differentiated measures

Visits to hospitals and residential care homes to resume with enhanced vaccine-differentiated measures

Senior citizens playing with building blocks at Soo's Nursing Home, located in a single-storey bungalow on Sixth Avenue.

SINGAPORE: Visits to hospitals and residential care homes will resume with “enhanced” vaccine-differentiated measures (VDS) from Monday (Nov 22), the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Saturday as authorities announced further relaxation of COVID-19 safe management measures.

Such in-person visits will be allowed only when both the hospital patient or care home resident and their visitors are fully vaccinated. 

If any of the parties are not fully vaccinated, visits will only be allowed under exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis, as advised by the hospitals and care homes. 

Exceptional conditions include patients who are in critical condition, paediatric patients, birthing or post-partum mothers; and patients requiring additional care support from caregivers.

“The strict implementation of such VDS measures will minimise the risk of outbreaks, which may otherwise jeopardise the lives of vulnerable patients and residents and affect the operating capacity of our hospitals and residential care homes,” said MOH.

This measure does not apply to people seeking medical care from hospitals.

More programmes for seniors will also resume for those who are vaccinated, following pilots run by the People’s Association and SportSG.

MOH said that in the coming weeks, seniors can look forward to more exercise programmes by the Health Promotion Board and participate in other forms of learning under the National Silver Academy.

Details will be released soon, it said.

VISITOR MEASURES FOR HOSPITAL AND HOMES

Visitors who are allowed into hospital wards and Homes will be required to show a valid negative ART result obtained within the last 24 hours of each visit. All tests are to be self-funded by the visitor.

Fully vaccinated or medically ineligible visitors can opt for an ART administered or supervised by MOH-approved COVID-19 test providers (including tests performed at Quick Test Centres), or perform an unsupervised self-administered ART for the purpose of fulfilling the pre-visit testing requirement.

Fully vaccinated or medically ineligible visitors who opt to undergo unsupervised self-administered ART will be required to show evidence of a valid ART result, e.g. present a time-stamped photo of the dated ART result and photo ID for verification prior to entry into the hospital ward or care home.

Under exceptional circumstances when non-fully vaccinated visitors are allowed, hospitals and Homes will only accept ARTs administered or supervised by MOH-approved COVID-19 test providers (including tests performed at Quick Test Centres).

Results from unsupervised self-administered ART will not be accepted for this group of visitors.

Each patient will be allowed to register up to two visitors for each admission with only one visitor allowed at the bedside at any one time.

Patients who are critically ill will be allowed five registered visitors for each admission, with two visitors allowed at the bedside each time. Each patient can receive up to two visits per day, with each visit lasting 30 minutes.

All visitors approved to enter hospital wards must don face masks with good filtration capability at all times. These include surgical masks and reusable masks that are made of two layers of fabric.

Visitors are reminded not to eat or drink in the hospital wards or use the patients’ toilets in the wards. They should also avoid sitting on patients’ beds.

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Source: CNA/hm(rw)

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