SINGAPORE: Most patients warded in hospitals are not allowed to have visitors in line with stricter safe distancing measures, the Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed on Thursday (Apr 9).

“All public hospitals, private hospitals and community hospitals will minimise visitation for inpatients with the intent to reduce non-essential movements and contact time,” MOH said.

This comes as Singapore’s “circuit breaker” measures kicked in from Tuesday to reduce the risk of local transmission of COVID-19.

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Under the measures, which last until May 4, most workplaces must close, although essential healthcare services will continue operating. Since the outbreak started, hospitals have allowed only one visitor per patient at a time.

For now, MOH said only patients in certain cases can be visited by one caregiver at a time, on compassionate grounds or where it is essential for the well-being of the patient.

This includes:

  • Inpatients who are critically ill;
  • Paediatric inpatients or special needs inpatients;
  • Palliative inpatients;
  • Inpatients lacking mental capacity;
  • Non-ambulatory or elderly inpatients ready for discharge, whose caregiver needs to be trained to give care at home;
  • Pregnant women admitted for delivery of babies.

Visitation hours will be limited and should be strictly followed, said MOH.

“Patients who are receiving outpatient or primary care services may continue to be accompanied by one caregiver if required,” it added.

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