In-person visits to hospitals, residential care homes suspended till April 3, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

In-person visits to hospitals, residential care homes suspended till April 3

This article is more than 12 months old

The suspension of in-person visits to all hospital wards and residential care homes will be extended a second time until April 3 this year, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (March 18).

The ministry had earlier announced that the suspension would end this Sunday (March 20), but has opted to extend the suspension by another two weeks.

This, MOH said, was to "relieve pressure on our hospital staff, and our nursing home staff who are caring for Covid-positive residents on-site".

The statement adds that while the daily number of local Covid-19 cases has decreased gradually over the past week, hospitals continue to face a high volume of patients, and healthcare workers are still under a significant amount of stress.

The ministry had first announced a four-week suspension of visits from Jan 24 this year as a precautionary measure against the Omicron wave.

The suspension was due to end on Feb 20 and was extended by another month until this Sunday.

Hospitals and homes will still have the discretion to allow visits for exceptional cases, said MOH.

These include patients or residents who are critically ill, paediatric patients, birthing or post-partum mothers , or patients who might require additional support from caregivers such as patients who have mental incapacities or family members who are undergoing caregiver training to better care for their loved ones after hospital discharge.

Those who are permitted to visit patients and residents in hospitals and homes on an exceptional basis will need to produce a valid negative antigen rapid test (ART) result obtained within 24 hours of the visit.

The ministry said that alternative methods of communication such as telephone and video calls will continue to be supported during the extended period of suspension.

"We seek the understanding and cooperation of patients/residents, and their family members and loved ones. MOH will review and calibrate these measures as the situation evolves," said the ministry.