No need to avoid places visited by Covid-19 patients: Health Minister
There is no need to worry about going to venues that Covid-19 patients have visited as these places are safe, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said yesterday.
He added that the Government releases information about these venues to encourage people who went to these places to watch out for symptoms.
Those who wish to visit these places - which have included supermarkets, offices, malls and Mustafa Centre - can do so as these places would have been thoroughly disinfected, Mr Gan said at a news conference by the multi-ministry task force he co-chairs.
"Once we identify the patient, and when there is a risk at the venue... we will do a thorough deep cleaning at the affected places to render them safe so that workers and family members can go back," he said.
"So, for places like Mustafa Centre or shopping centres that he has been to, there is generally no risk... because (the patient is) no longer there."
The purpose of disclosing information about these venues is not to warn people against visiting them but, rather, to encourage people who have visited them before to monitor their health and get tested if they suspect they have become infected.
Contact tracing efforts here might not be fully exhaustive, given how the majority of people do not use the national contact tracing app TraceTogether.
The app identifies people in close contact with a Covid-19 patient, via wireless Bluetooth technology. Nearby handsets exchange Bluetooth signals and log the interaction in the app.
"This (information) will help us encourage people who have been there during that period of time to come forward if you are unwell so we can administer the appropriate tests to determine whether you have been infected," Mr Gan said.
Minister-in-charge of the Smart Nation Initiative Vivian Balakrishnan, who was also at the conference, said TraceTogether would prove useful when people cannot remember if they had visited a venue that would have put them in close contact with an infected patient.
He had earlier given details about a new device called TraceTogether Token, which will allow those without mobile phones or who are not able to use the app to participate in contact tracing efforts here.