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Singapore to transfer clinically stable monkeypox cases to dedicated isolation facility: MOH

The quarantine period for close contacts of monkeypox cases will also be adjusted to 14 days, followed by seven days of monitoring for symptoms using regular phone calls.

Singapore to transfer clinically stable monkeypox cases to dedicated isolation facility: MOH

File photo of a monkeypox quarantine facility. (Photo: iStock)

SINGAPORE: Monkeypox cases assessed by public hospitals to be clinically stable will be transferred to a dedicated isolation facility from Monday (Aug 1). 

The quarantine period for close contacts of monkeypox cases will also be adjusted to 14 days, followed by seven days of monitoring for symptoms via regular phone calls, said the Ministry of Health (MOH). 

According to the ask.gov.sg website, those on phone surveillance can leave their home as long as they are well. They should contact an MOH duty officer if they are unwell. 

The Health Ministry said that these updated public health measures are in line with the latest local and international data, including those from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Previously, all confirmed cases of monkeypox were isolated in hospitals until they were non-infectious. 

As part of a pilot to transit monkeypox cases to recover in the community, eight cases were transferred from public hospitals to an isolation facility on Jul 29, said MOH. These cases are all currently in stable condition with mild symptoms.

From Monday, all confirmed cases assessed by the public hospitals to be clinically stable will be taken to the facility with round-the-clock telemedicine support. 

“These cases will recover in the monkeypox isolation facility until they are deemed to be non-infectious and fit for discharge," said MOH.

"Cases assessed by the public hospitals to be at higher risk of complications will continue to be managed in hospitals. This allows hospitals to preserve their capacity for cases with more severe symptoms or complications."

Singapore has reported 11 monkeypox cases since June.

QUARANTINE

Given that transmission requires close physical or prolonged contact, including face-to-face and skin-to-skin contact such as sexual contact, the risk to the general public remains low, said the Health Ministry.

“Evidence also points to a mean incubation period of approximately eight to nine days with most close contacts developing symptoms by Day 14 from their last exposure to a confirmed case.”

Close contacts were previously quarantined for up to 21 days from their last date of exposure to a confirmed case.

Under the updated measures, close contacts will be quarantined for 14 days followed by seven days of monitoring for symptoms via regular phone calls. These individuals will be able to complete their quarantine from home, said MOH.

Those who are unable to complete their quarantine from home will be transferred to a government quarantine facility.

“MOH will continue to monitor the monkeypox situation closely and calibrate our preparedness and response measures as needed,” said the Health Ministry.

“Members of the public are encouraged to exercise personal responsibility by monitoring their personal health, maintaining good hygiene, and avoiding high-risk sexual activity, such as having multiple sex partners or casual sex, especially during travel.

"They should also avoid close contact with individuals known or suspected to be ill with monkeypox infection.”

Source: CNA/zl(mi)
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