Singapore’s Ministry of Health said the country will pilot home isolation for people who are infected with coronavirus and have mild or no symptoms from August 30.
|People stand along the pier next to the Merlion statue in Singapore on August 16, 2021. Roslan RAHMAN / AFP |
Singapore – Singapore’s Ministry of Health said the country will pilot home isolation for people who are infected with coronavirus and have mild or no symptoms from August 30.
Speaking at a press conference on August 19, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said the pilot is a crucial step in Singapore’s journey towards living with COVID-19 as an endemic disease, the Straits Times reported.
Singapore currently has two layers of COVID-19 recovery care - hospitals, and community care facilities, he said, adding that the pilot aims to add a third layer to allow patients with mild symptoms to recover at home and free up resources and hospital beds.
However, to qualify for a home isolation scheme, the patients and their family members must meet certain conditions. For example, everyone in their home must be fully vaccinated and must not belong to any vulnerable groups such as pregnant women or the elderly.
The COVID-19 patients will be treated at a medical facility for a few days, then will be allowed to stay in isolation at home when the amount of SARS-CoV-2 virus in the body decreases. In addition, all family members will have to be quarantined at home until the infected person recovers.
The announcement comes as the number of daily COVID-19 cases continues to decline steadily after tighter measures introduced last month proved to be effective.
As of August 17, the country saw an average of 63 new cases a day in the past week, about half of the figure two weeks before.
On the same day, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore announced that the country will allow quarantine-free entry from next month to travelers from Germany and Brunei who are vaccinated against COVID-19, as part of a plan to gradually reopen its borders.
Border restrictions will also be gradually eased for all visitors from the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau from August 21, the agency said.