KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 – Singapore has rapidly amped up its facilities to house Covid-19 patients, as the island state reported nearly 19,000 coronavirus cases as of yesterday.
Hospitals have increased the number of isolation beds, and thousands of beds have been set up outside hospitals for patients who are mildly ill.
“We have planned ahead, created and ramped up many different types of healthcare facilities to support the specific needs of Covid-19 patients,” according to Singapore’s health minister Gan Kim Yong, as cited by The Straits Times.
“In addition, our health care system has the flexibility to stretch our capacity to respond to increasing demand.”
There are about 1,500 isolation beds now, up from 500 in January. The National Centre for Infectious Diseases has also increased negative pressure beds to more than 500, from 100 in the same period.
There are currently 150 vacant intensive case beds, and the number can be quickly increased to 300 if necessary, said the minister.
Public hospitals have put in place plans to ensure that their infrastructure, equipment, medications and manpower are in place to add another 450 intensive care unit beds by the middle of this month if necessary, he added.
Singapore has also ensured that it has enough ventilators and other medical equipment to support the care of such patients.
It currently has 25 patients in intensive care units (ICU).
More than 10,000 beds have been set up in community care facilities such as the Singapore Expo to house patients with mild symptoms, and it will see an increase as well.
Bed spaces in community recovery facilities, for patients who are past the 14th day of their illness but still need to be isolated, are also being increased.
There are currently around 2,000 community recovery facility beds – some in dormitories and others in army camps – to house those who have passed 14th day of illness but still need to be isolated. The number of beds here will be increased to 10,000 by the end of the month.
Separately, public hospitals have postponed non-urgent elective procedures and moved medically stable “long-stayer” patients to step-down care facilities.
Singapore recorded 573 new Covid-19 cases yesterday, and its death toll currently stands at 18.