Singapore hospitals to defer non-urgent clinical services amid rise in Covid-19 cases

SINGAPORE – Hospitals in Singapore have been instructed to defer all non-urgent elective clinical services in anticipation of a possible further surge in Covid-19 cases requiring hospital care.

Hospitals should also gear up preparation, such as by putting some of their reserve beds on standby, in case Singapore has the need for additional intensive care unit beds, Singapore’s director of medical services Kenneth Mak said on Friday (Sept 10).

He said: “We ask for the public’s cooperation and understanding, if, as a result of these changes that we’ve had to make in preparation, it leads to some delays or prolonged waiting time for some of the clinical services and treatments to be given to those who do not have urgent medical conditions.”

As at Thursday, 664 cases are currently warded in hospitals. A total of 26 cases require oxygen supplementation and seven patients are in critical condition.

The Ministry of Health announced 450 local cases of Covid-19 on Thursday. This is compared with the 216 local cases reported on Sept 3, and 120 local cases on Aug 27.

Associate Professor Mak said at a press conference held by the multi-ministry task force on Covid-19: “This doubling of new local cases weekly reflects an ongoing community spread of Covid-19 that has taken place as we lightened the community restrictions, after our phase two (heightened alert) phase and allowed more social interactions to take place.”

He added that in particular, those who are vulnerable to severe infections, or those who live with a vulnerable family member, should exercise caution and cut down on social activities or at-risk activities.

He said: “This call not to be complacent is important because we need to ensure that we always have sufficient resources to treat those who are severely infected, and who have a need for the limited and precious resources we have in our hospitals.”

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