SINGAPORE, Sept 17 — More fully vaccinated individuals infected with Covid-19 with mild or no symptoms will be told to stay home as they recover from the illness rather than be sent to a hospital or a community care facility, the Ministry of Health said in a statement today.
From Saturday, fully vaccinated patients aged between 12 and 69 with no severe comorbidities or illnesses will be included under the “home recovery” healthcare protocol first kicked in on Wednesday after a successful pilot.
Home recovery is allowed if a Covid-19 patient meets the age criteria and is also able to self-isolate in a room, preferably with an attached bathroom.
They must also have no household members above 80 years old or who belong to “vulnerable groups” such as being pregnant or have a weakened immune response.
The protocol originally applied to patients up to 50 years old who had no or mild symptoms.
In its statement, MOH said: “Data continues to show that fully vaccinated individuals are indeed less at risk of severe illness, especially those under the age of 70 years.”
The ministry added that this arrangement allows it to direct hospital resources to those who need more intensive care.
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, who co-chairs the multi-ministry task force handling Singapore’s response to Covid-19, said last week that the Government is raising the capacity of community care facilities by another 1,000 beds to divert demand from hospitals.
At a news conference on Friday, he said: “But soon, the community care facilities will also be full, which is why we must encourage home recovery.”
Since Wednesday, 597 vaccinated Covid-19 patients — including 13 children aged between 5 and 11 — have been put on the home recovery scheme.
MOH said: “This is close to a third of the community cases for the past two days, which is highly encouraging, as we see more individuals taking personal empowerment to take care of their own health and recovery.”
Thirty-two people have also been discharged since the pilot for the scheme began on August 30.
“We continue to urge all fully vaccinated Covid-19 individuals below the age of 70 to adopt home recovery as the default care management, just like how you would recover from, say, influenza,” MOH said.
People who test positive for Covid-19 and meet the criteria can begin home recovery immediately, the ministry added. They may refer to its guide to home recovery on its website. — TODAY