SINGAPORE: All in-person visits to residential care homes will continue to be suspended until Oct 24, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Tuesday (Oct 5).
This is after several new clusters were found in aged care facilities in the past two weeks, as well as the continued rise of COVID-19 cases within the community, said the Health Ministry in a press release.
"This is in line with the stabilisation phase and will reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from the community to the homes," said MOH.
It added that the extension will provide more time for the seniors living in aged care facilities to get vaccinated or receive their booster shots.
MOH announced last month that all visits to residential care homes were suspended from Sep 13 to Oct 11, given the number of COVID-19 cases among staff and residents.
MOH on Tuesday also urged the next-of-kin of unvaccinated seniors in residential care homes to support and encourage them to get vaccinated.
"Unvaccinated seniors are more likely to suffer severe illness if infected.
"It is also important for vaccinated seniors to receive their booster dose immediately when they become eligible, to ensure a continued high level of immunity and protection from severe disease," said MOH.
To ensure that seniors remain connected with their loved ones, residential care homes will continue to offer caregivers or next-of-kin the option of telephone or phone calls as an alternative to physical visits.
MOH said it will observe the situation in the coming weeks and review the suspension accordingly.
"We seek the understanding and cooperation of all Singaporeans as we continue to implement measures to protect our seniors," it added.