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Only 10-15% of Singaporeans who catch Covid-19 will need hospital care once situation stabilizes

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SINGAPORE - Only 10 to 15 per cent of Covid-19 patients in Singapore are expected to require hospital care when the current rise in cases has stabilized.



Busy Covid ward(File photo)


While it is predicted that one in every two patients will likely recover safely at home and the remaining 30 per cent in community care facilities (CCFs).


According to straitstimes.com , essentially, the current situation - where emergency departments are seeing more Covid-19 cases and hospitals here have scaled back non-urgent procedures as they approach capacity - is temporary, said Singapore's director of medical services, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak.


Prof Mak sketched this picture of an evolved Covid-19 care landscape on Monday (Sept 20) on the sidelines of the 2021 Singaporean Researchers Global Summit, a gathering of Singaporean researchers here and abroad, at the Nanyang Technological University.


He emphasized the importance of a spectrum of recovery options to suit different Covid-19 patients' needs for there to be good recovery outcomes without overtaxing Singapore's medical system.


For instance, patients with certain risk factors and who require monitoring to ensure that they do not deteriorate but who are assessed to not need a hospital bed will be placed in enhanced or stepped-up CCFs.


On the other hand, those who are infected and healthy but are unable to safely isolate at home will be cared for in the current CCFs, said Prof Mak.


For the majority of patients who are vaccinated and have mild or no symptoms, home recovery will be the default route to recovery.


"Eventually, we can match the likelihood of (viral) mutation, the course of illness with the type of care we can provide them, so we are never going to shortchange people.

"We want to make sure that we also have enough resources for those who truly are more seriously ill," he added.


The Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Sunday (Sept 19) that a new category of stepped-up CCFs will be set up for Covid-19 patients who are generally well, but have underlying health conditions that require close monitoring.


New Facility to open


The first such facility will open this Thursday at the NTUC Health nursing home in Tampines, which currently has 250 beds.



The NTUC Health Nursing Home (Tampines) at Tampines Street 22. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN


Several CCFs will also have a proportion of their beds converted to the stepped-up type, including the CCF at the Singapore Expo's [email protected], which aims to provide 50 such beds by Friday.


Asked if MOH will be looking into converting more CCFs into enhanced ones, Prof Mak said that the situation is dynamic as it remains important to ensure that there are enough CCFs for the group of people who are well.


As for setting up more enhanced CCFs, he stressed that it is not just about providing more beds, but also provisioning additional monitoring equipment and oxygen support equipment at such facilities.




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