Singapore’s biggest challenge now is to ensure hospitals, healthcare workers are not overburdened, says health minister

20-Sep-2021 Intellasia | Today | 10:26 AM Print This Post

With accident and emergency (A&E) and general wards coming under pressure, the biggest challenge currently confronting the Ministry of Health (MOH) is to ensure that hospitals and healthcare workers are not overburdened.

Health minister Ong Ye Kung said this today as he explained why the authorities are admitting Covid-19 patients to community care facilities instead of hospitals, while encouraging younger, fully vaccinated people to recover from home.

He noted that MOH data put out earlier this week shows that the chances of someone infected with Covid-19 coming down with severe illness depend a lot on age and vaccination status.

For example, from May 1 to September 16, no one fully vaccinated and under the age of 70 had been admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) or died from Covid-19.

Ong said: “A fully vaccinated person in his/her 70s has better chances of not falling very sick as an unvaccinated person in his/her 30s (0.38 per cent vs 0.84 per cent).

“Similarly, a fully vaccinated person in his/her 80s becomes like an unvaccinated person in his/her 40s or 50s (1.79 per cent vs 1.37 per cent/1.94 per cent).”

Unvaccinated seniors, however, are at significant risk of falling very sick when infected over 15 per cent for those above 80 years old, Ong pointed out.

As of Friday, 82 per cent of the population have completed their full immunisation regimen or received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine, and 84 per cent have received at least one dose.

Ong said that if Singapore had not achieved such a high vaccination rate, its healthcare system would have been overwhelmed by now.

He noted that over 98 per cent of those infected have no or mild symptoms, and “tend to stay that way until they recover”.

“That is why we are encouraging younger, fully vaccinated people to recover from home, and admit patients to community care facilities instead of hospitals, and also setting up more community care facilities, which will be ready this coming week,” Ong said.

Doing so also ensures that hospital beds and A&E services go to those who need it most, he added.

“Our ICU capacity is still holding up, but it is A&E and general wards that are coming under pressure,” Ong said.

“Our hospitals and healthcare workers cannot be over burdened. At this point, this is MOH’s biggest challenge and we are doing our best to solve this.”

https://www.malaymail.com/news/singapore/2021/09/19/singapores-biggest-challenge-now-is-to-ensure-hospitals-healthcare-workers/2006735

 

Category: Singapore

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