In September 2021, the Ministry of Health (MOH) implemented the home recovery programme where fully vaccinated individuals who test positive for Covid-19 can recover at home.
These affected individuals would be given care packs to monitor their symptoms, and have access to 24-hour telemedicine support if they need help.
Anxiety of individuals on home recovery
But in a statement on Sep. 24, MOH noted that the number of daily Covid-19 cases had started to rise exponentially from end August 2021, causing a "strain" on Singapore's overall healthcare and response system.
"While we have been advising individuals with mild Covid-19 symptoms that it is appropriate to recover at home, we understand the anxiety of some individuals to want to seek medical attention at hospitals.
The protocols and processes for home recovery are also new, and we are still improving the system as people are adjusting to them."
MOH also said that there have been "service lapses" as the numbers on home recovery increased, which added to the affected individual's anxiety.
"We are ironing out the teething issues with the home recovery programme, and in the coming few weeks, will further ramp up our care facilities to handle more cases," said MOH.
SAF to help clear backlog
During the Multi-Ministry Taskforce (MTF) press conference on Sep. 24, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung addressed these "concerns and frustrations".
Ong said that MOH is receiving support from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), which has "augmented our resources and capability significantly".
This will also allow MOH to "progressively clear the backlog" that has accumulated over the past few days with the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country.
"We are actively, proactively reaching out to affected individuals, delivering the care packs on request," added Ong.
MOH joined Telegram chat groups
MOH has also joined Telegram chat groups with individuals on the home recovery programme.
Ong said that this allows MOH to answer their queries.
At the same time, MOH can also put out the common queries and clear them through the mass media.
Expanding hotline operators
Ong added that MOH will be expanding the number of hotline operators so that those who "want to have a call and talk to somebody with a query" may do so.
MOH is also beefing up its telemedicine resources, including roping in private sector primary care providers to provide the telemedicine services.
Getting help from PA
According to Ong, the People’s Association (PA) will be providing community support to affected families too.
"I’m confident that with all this hard work and all the help and support that we are getting… the teething issues will be resolved, as we speak."
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