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Singapore Expo being prepared to house recovering Covid-19 patients

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Expo Convention Hall and Exhibition Centre is currently in the process of being turned into a facility to care for Covid-19 patients who are on the road to recovery, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong confirmed on Sunday (April 5).

Workers seen on April 5, 2020 preparing a hall at the Singapore Expo to be used as a community care facility for recovering Covid-19 patients.

Workers seen on April 5, 2020 preparing a hall at the Singapore Expo to be used as a community care facility for recovering Covid-19 patients.

Singapore

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SINGAPORE — The Singapore Expo Convention Hall and Exhibition Centre is currently in the process of being turned into a facility to care for Covid-19 patients who are on the road to recovery, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong confirmed on Sunday (April 5).

Once completed, it will join D’Resort NTUC in Pasir Ris as the second such “community care” facility. Mr Gan said that this will help ensure there will be continued capacity to treat patients suffering from the coronavirus at the acute care hospitals.

Mr Gan was responding to a question related to the matter during a press conference held by the Covid-19 multi-ministry task force on Sunday, where it was announced that two workers’ dormitories have been gazetted as “isolation areas”.

Mr Gan said during the conference that in time to come, patients who have mild symptoms may be sent to the community care facilities to be monitored, and will only be sent to hospitals “if necessary”.

“For patients with mild symptoms, generally they don't need any medical support,” said Mr Gan. “In fact, they can actually recover and be cared for in these facilities until they are well and can be discharged, without having to go to the hospitals.”

While Mr Gan did not give a timeline of when the community care facility at Singapore Expo will be ready, or how many patients it will be able to house, he said the authorities are “preparing it for this purpose”.

Stacks of flooring material seen outside a hall at Singapore Expo on April 5, 2020. Photo: Ooi Boon Keong

When TODAY visited the Singapore Expo on Sunday morning, several contractors were seen on site preparing the exhibition halls.

Crates of specialised flooring were seen stacked outside the halls, and contractors were observed laying them out.

One of the exhibition halls had partitions installed within it. No beds were seen.

In response to TODAY’s queries, a spokesperson from the Singapore Expo said that this is “the first time in its history that the venue is being repurposed”.

Mr Alvin Lim, the executive director of brand and customer experience at venue operator SingEx Holdings, said to prepare for this, the Singapore Expo and Max Atria — its convention wing — will be closed to the public from Tuesday.

“As a community care facility, it will be a restricted area with secure entry points for on-site operational staff cleared for access,” said Mr Lim.

He added that the Expo will also be implementing “strict entry and work infection control measures and precautions”.

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus Singapore EXPO

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