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Covid-19: Tan Tock Seng Hospital to reopen for admissions from May 18 after 20 days in lockdown

SINGAPORE — Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) will be reopening for admissions from Tuesday (May 18) after 20 days of being locked down due to the formation of a Covid-19 cluster.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital will reopen for admission on May 18, 2021.

Tan Tock Seng Hospital will reopen for admission on May 18, 2021.

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  • The hospital said it will reopen for admissions from Tuesday 8am
  • It said that the last case of exposure in their wards was more than two weeks ago
  • The hospital is ramping up efforts to protect both the health of its patients and the well-being of its staff

 

SINGAPORE — Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) will be reopening for admissions from Tuesday (May 18) after 20 days of being locked down due to the formation of a Covid-19 cluster.

The hospital said in a statement on Monday that the last case of exposure in the hospital’s wards was more than two weeks ago.

“The cases reported since then were already under active surveillance in isolation at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) or in quarantine,” said TTSH.

“We have taken tough, but necessary measures to contain it.”

TTSH said as of Monday, the hospital has completed six rounds of testing for all inpatients and two rounds for all 12,000 staff on campus.

“The swabbing results for all sweeps have consistently returned negative,” it added. “This gives us added assurance that the containment measures are tight, and our processes have been in place across the hospital.”

The cluster at the hospital started after a 46-year-old nurse in the hospital’s Ward 9D tested positive for Covid-19 on April 27 after developing a cough, sore throat and body aches.

As of Sunday, the cluster had 46 cases linked to it, including staff members, current and past patients and visitors. One 88-year-old patient, who was warded from April 14 and was confirmed to have Covid-19 on April 28, died from complications due to the disease on May 1.

Working closely with the Ministry of Health (MOH), the hospital said it will be safely and progressively reopening our hospital for admissions from 8am on Tuesday.

“We are mindful that in reopening, we will have to stay vigilant and continue to monitor our inpatients and our new admissions, especially with the ongoing community transmission,” it said.

To start off, the hospital said the Singapore Civil Defence Force will convey urgent ambulance cases to TTSH’s Emergency Department from 8am to 8pm daily.

The hospital will also see to urgent clinic appointments and electives during this period.

KEEPING PATIENTS AND STAFF SAFE

TTSH also announced that it was introducing several measures to ensure the health and well-being of patients and staff.

For instance, all patients who are admitted will be swabbed on admission, on a regular schedule during their stay, and prior to their discharge.

This regular inpatient testing will help to detect asymptomatic cases and other cases that may be incubating the virus, said TTSH. If detected, they can be isolated immediately, and close contacts put on quarantine.

The hospital added that all inpatients will wear surgical masks if their medical condition allows this. Clinical surveillance is also being enhanced with proactive monitoring and testing of all inpatients who develop acute respiratory infection symptoms.

As for patients who have been warded at the hospital during the last two weeks, and are assessed to be medically fit for discharge, with consistent negative test results, the hospital said they will be discharged and placed on either stay-home notices or quarantine orders by MOH.

Visitor restrictions will continue to be in place.TTSH said this will be aligned with other hospitals in due course.

For the next two weeks, the hospital will allow for one pre-registered visitor per patient with a limit of one visit per day for up to 30 minutes.

“Visitors are to be masked at all times, and refrain from eating and drinking during their visit to our wards,” said TTSH.

Other measures include intensified cleaning regimes across all wards and the entire hospital.

TTSH said its staff have been operating in this pandemic mode since January last year.

“Their health and well-being is essential to our continuing fight against Covid-19,” it said.

To that end, the hospital said it has introduced a suite of staff well-being efforts including welfare officers at each department, mindfulness sessions on zoom, morale boosters, and a staff support programme to support those who need help in coping with the added stress during this challenging period

It added that it has also strengthened communications with its staff through live townhalls, a staff chat-bot and “leadership support at all levels”, among other measures.

“These last few weeks have not been easy for our staff and patients and their families,” said TTSH.

“We appreciate their understanding and strong support throughout this challenging period. We are also thankful for the outpouring of goodwill and the strong rally by our community to support our hospital during this pandemic. It has brought much comfort and cheer for our staff.”

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article referred to patients who have been on aircraft flights during the last two weeks. TTSH clarified that it was referring to patients who have been warded at the hospital for the last two weeks.

Related topics

Covid-19 TTSH coronavirus MOH Covid-19 clusters

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