As the number of Covid-19 locally-transmitted cases hit a new high at 832 cases on Sep. 14, Minister for Heath Ong Ye Kung once again urged seniors to stay at home as much as possible during this period.
About a quarter of the cases reported yesterday were seniors aged above 60.
Ong said in a Facebook post on Sep. 14 that significant changes to Singapore's healthcare protocol will take effect in the coming days. This includes default home recovery for certain infected individuals and updated home quarantine protocol.
Home recovery is crucial to conserve healthcare resources, and "to ensure that hospital beds go to those who need them most", Ong said.
Two step-by-step guides were also issued by the ministry to offer clarity on these protocols for people in Singapore.
In a news release from Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), the agency "strongly urge" all seniors to get vaccinated soon to avoid getting seriously ill. For unvaccinated seniors, the risk of getting seriously ill is six times higher.
The booster programme has been kickstarted with 140,000 seniors receiving invites to make appointment for their booster shot at a vaccination centre, polyclinic or participating PHPC.
In Ong's Facebook post, he said that mobile and home vaccination teams are fully mobilised. They will be visiting homes to vaccinate those who are immobile.
In addition, booster shots will also be administered at nursing homes from today (Sep. 15) onwards.
Seniors advised to stay at home for the next two weeks
In particular, Ong also highlighted that doctors have advised seniors, regardless of their vaccination status, to reduce social activities and stay at home.
This was also emphasised by AIC, saying that seniors should minimise social interactions in the next two weeks, suggesting that seniors living with their families get help with buying essential items.
Those who are living alone should only head out for essential activities, such as seeing a doctor, and return home as soon as possible.
To help seniors stay engaged at home, AIC has also developed activity booklets for seniors. These booklets are designed thematically, featuring nostalgic food and spaces that seniors can reminisce about.
You can download the booklets at www.aic.buzz/activity-booklets.
Seniors can also join fitness programmes via the Healthy365 app or signing up at www.myactivesg.com.
If you know of any seniors who need assistance at home, or support in getting vaccinated, you can contact the AIC Hotline at 1800-650-6060.
Top image via Galen Crout/Unsplash.