Covid-19 healthcare protocols to be streamlined and simplified: Health Minister

The Straits Times file

SINGAPORE - Covid-19 healthcare protocols that govern what people should do will be streamlined and simplified amid complaints of frustration and confusion over the many terms and procedures currently in use.

These procedures include testing and isolation protocols introduced earlier but which have since evolved as Singapore moves to live with the virus in the stabilisation phase.

These include Health Risk Alerts and Health Risk Warnings introduced recently.


"Few people truly remember or understand (the protocols) needs to be addressed because if people do not understand, they cannot do their part or help others," said Health Minister Ong Ye Kung. He was speaking at a virtual press conference on Saturday (Oct 2) held by the multi-ministry task force on the pandemic.

He acknowledged that it also contributes to the apprehension where some may see Covid-19 as a "very serious disease," when it is actually a "mild illness for those who have been vaccinated".

"We hope to present these simplified protocols soon," said Mr Ong, who co-chairs the task force.



In updates on Saturday, the task force noted that despite the current wave which has recently seen more than 2,000 new cases daily, 98 per cent of those infected had either mild symptoms or were asymptomatic.

The Straits Times had earlier reported that frustration was mounting amid confusion, in part, surrounding the home recovery programme, which was rolled on Sept 15.

During the 10-day isolation period, some under the programme said they could not contact the Ministry of Health for official advice on their specific situations.

For others, they said they experienced long lag times between testing positive for the virus and being taken to a recovery facility.

A chat group - SG Quarantine Order Support Group - has also surfaced on messaging app Telegram for people to share their experiences and pool information.

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Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the task force, also acknowledged there were teething issues around the home recovery programme, among others, and noted the difficulties people face getting through to the helpline.

He thanked everyone for their patience and understanding and added that the entire team is working flat out to resolve outstanding issues.

ALSO READ: Singapore could see 5,000 daily Covid-19 cases by mid-October, says Ong Ye Kung

This article was first published in The Straits TimesPermission required for reproduction.