SINGAPORE: Changi General Hospital (CGH) said on Monday (Jun 28) that no new COVID-19 cases had been detected among its staff.
In a media release, CGH said that to date, a total of eight of its employees had tested positive for COVID-19, seven of whom belong to the same cluster. An eighth case, a 21-year-old nurse, is currently unlinked.
These employees were “currently generally well or with mild symptoms”, said the hospital’s chief executive officer, Professor Ng Wai Hoe.
PROACTIVE TESTING HAS NOT PICKED UP FURTHER CASES
The first case under the CGH cluster was reported on Jun 24 – a 35-year-old man who works as a porter at the hospital.
Identified as case 64413, the man was found to have COVID-19 on Jun 23 after he was tested as part of CGH’s rostered routine testing. The porter was asymptomatic and was fully vaccinated, having received his second dose of the vaccine on Feb 4.
Proactive swab testing efforts of his close contacts were immediately carried out by the hospital, which allowed CGH to detect COVID-19 infections in six porters and a healthcare assistant.
“Proactive testing has not picked up any further staff cases to date,” it said.
The hospital added that contact tracing and surveillance swab tests were in progress. Staff identified as close contacts had been placed on quarantine orders or on leave of absence pending further investigations.
CGH said it was also working closely with the Ministry of Health and that epidemiological investigations were ongoing for the positive cases.
“The hospital has strengthened its defences to ring-fence the infections and measures are in place to keep our patients, visitors and staff safe.
“Infection control protocols have been activated and terminal cleaning has been carried out at affected areas,” said CGH.
ALL STAFF ON CAMPUS TO UNDERGO COVID-19 TESTING
CGH said all staff on its campus would undergo COVID-19 testing over the next few days.
It said additional swab tests had been stepped up for staff identified as contacts, as well as various groups including porters, housekeepers and nurses.
Patient-fronting staff who were already on rostered routine testing also underwent an additional round of surveillance swab tests, said CGH.
“More than 6,000 swab tests for staff have been conducted over the past week. The swab test results are negative to date,” said the hospital.
Additional surveillance swab tests for inpatients who were possible contacts of the staff cases was also completed, with all results coming back negative for COVID-19, said the hospital.
“We are on heightened clinical surveillance of all inpatients who may develop fever or acute respiratory infection symptoms,” said CGH.
Patients identified as contacts may be placed in isolation to continue their recuperation under quarantine. For the safety of the visitors, they will not be allowed in these wards until further notice.
CGH’s visitation guidelines remain at one pre-registered visitor for the duration of their admission and one visitor each day. Patients can also continue with their outpatient appointments at the hospital.
“The hospital is safe for clinical appointments and visitation, with adherence to existing visitation guidelines,” said CGH, adding that it would continue to monitor the situation, and review and reinforce measures as the need arose.