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New Covid-19 cluster with 116 cases detected at IMH; admissions to affected wards suspended

SINGAPORE — A new Covid-19 cluster with 116 infected people has been reported at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), of which 108 are inpatients and the remaining eight are staff members.

SINGAPORE — A new Covid-19 cluster with 116 infected people has been reported at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), of which 108 are inpatients and the remaining eight are staff members.

In its daily update on the coronavirus situation for the day shortly before IMH’s news release on Monday (Oct 25), the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed that there were eight new cases for the cluster.

IMH said that the inpatient cases mostly came from three blocks — Blocks 4, 5 and 6.

It also said that the cases were detected through its surveillance tests for patients or were picked up because they had developed respiratory symptoms during their stay.

The majority of the cases are long-stay patients at the facility.

Patients with Covid-19 were separated and cared for in dedicated wards in the hospital, it said.

They do not have to be transferred out to the acute hospitals because most of the patients are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms.

“If their condition deteriorates, they will be transferred to the acute hospitals if necessary.”

Admissions to the affected wards have been suspended while patients who are “fit for discharge will be able to go home after they test negative for Covid-19”, IMH added.

Other wards at the hospital, as well as clinical services such as the Outpatient Specialist Clinics, are unaffected by the Covid-19 cluster and continue to admit and see patients.

IMH said that it has put in place strict surveillance and infection control measures for visitors, patients and employees.

“These measures are adjusted according to the prevailing situation in the community, and adhere to guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health.”

Inpatients at IMH are given swab tests before their admission and throughout their stay at the facility.

“(We have) also offered Covid-19 vaccination to all acute and long-stay inpatients, as well as outpatients. To date, more than 90 per cent of the long-stay patients have been vaccinated. Booster vaccination for long-stay patients is also underway,” IMH added.

Earlier in August, the hospital was identified as a Covid-19 cluster by MOH. IMH said then that the first case was a staff nurse who works in two wards. She was confirmed to be infected on Aug 28.

In response to TODAY’s queries, it said on Tuesday that this earlier cluster had already closed after no new infections were detected.

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Covid-19 coronavirus IMH hospital

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