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Default home recovery for eligible fully vaccinated Covid-19 patients extends to those aged between 51 and 69

SINGAPORE — More fully vaccinated individuals infected with Covid-19 with mild or no symptoms will be told to stay home as they recover from the illness rather than be sent to a hospital or a community care facility, the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Friday (Sept 17).

Default home recovery for eligible fully vaccinated Covid-19 patients extends to those aged between 51 and 69

More fully vaccinated people infected with Covid-19 will recover from the illness at home rather than be sent to a hospital or a community care facility.

  • By default, fully vaccinated patients aged 12 to 69 will stay home as they recover from Covid-19
  • They can do so if they are able to self-isolate and do not live with household members above 80 years old, among other criteria
  • This healthcare protocol originally applied to patients up to 50 years old

 

SINGAPORE — More fully vaccinated individuals infected with Covid-19 with mild or no symptoms will be told to stay home as they recover from the illness rather than be sent to a hospital or a community care facility, the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Friday (Sept 17).

From Saturday, fully vaccinated patients aged between 12 and 69 with no severe comorbidities or illnesses will be included under the “home recovery” healthcare protocol which first kicked in on Wednesday after a successful pilot. 

Home recovery is allowed if a Covid-19 patient meets the age criteria and is also able to self-isolate in a room, preferably with an attached bathroom. 

They must also have no household members above 80 years old or who belong to “vulnerable groups”, such as pregnant women or those who have a weakened immune response.

The protocol originally applied to patients up to 50 years old who have no or mild symptoms.

In its statement, MOH said: “Data continues to show that fully vaccinated individuals are indeed less at risk of severe illness, especially those under the age of 70.”

The ministry added that this arrangement allows it to direct hospital resources to those who need more intensive care.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force handling Singapore’s response to Covid-19, said last week that the Government was raising the capacity of community care facilities by another 1,000 beds to divert demand from hospitals.

At a news conference on Friday, he said: “But soon, the community care facilities will also be full, which is why we must encourage home recovery.”

Asked whether having more people on home recovery could lead to a rise in community cases, MOH director of medical services Kenneth Mak said that the authorities conduct a “careful assessment” for each patient on home recovery.

The authorities consider the risk the patient will pose to other household members by taking into account, for example, whether the patient will need to share a kitchen or toilet with others in the household, he said.

“It's only when we are assured that all these are met will we then allow that home recovery to take place.”

The authorities had started the programme very cautiously, Associate Professor Mak said.

But even as it is rolled out to more Covid-19 patients, he stressed: “We have not compromised on our assessments, and our assessment continues to be that it has to be safe for the community and for the household.”

Mr Ong added that many places around the world, such as Japan, Europe, the United States and the United Kingdom, have similar protocols where home recovery is the default.

Singapore, he said, is now moving towards having the majority of those infected with Covid-19 recover at home while more vulnerable patients are taken to the hospitals or community care facilities.

Since Wednesday, 597 vaccinated Covid-19 patients — including 13 children aged between five and 11 — have been put on the home recovery scheme. 

MOH said: “This is close to a third of the community cases for the past two days, which is highly encouraging, as we see more individuals taking personal empowerment to take care of their own health and recovery.”

Thirty-two people have also been discharged since the pilot for the scheme began on Aug 30.

“We continue to urge all fully vaccinated Covid-19 individuals below the age of 70 to adopt home recovery as the default care management, just like how you would recover from, say, influenza,” MOH said.

People who test positive for Covid-19 and meet the criteria can begin home recovery immediately, the ministry added. They may refer to its guide to home recovery on its website. .embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; overflow: hidden; max-width: 100%; } .embed-container iframe, .embed-container object, .embed-container embed { position: absolute; top: 0; left: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; }

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