The hospital cluster emerged after the detection of the first case on April 27 when a nurse who works in Ward 9D was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Since then, the hospital has taken tough, but necessary measures to contain it. It has put in multiple containment measures to ringfence the cluster at Ward 9D. This included close contacts who are patients, visitors, and staff. It has also extended the measures to staff and patients in the rest of the hospital and across its campus.
“As of today, we have completed six rounds of testing for all inpatients and two rounds for all 12,000 staff on campus. The swabbing results for all sweeps have consistently returned negative,” the press release said.
“This gives us added assurance that the containment measures are tight, and our processes have been in place across the hospital. As we progressively reopen our hospital, we will continue to monitor the situation closely and stay vigilant and strengthen our defences.”
Ward 9D, a C class ward with 35 to 40 patients, is the nucleus of the outbreak. About two-thirds of the patients in this ward contracted Covid-19 while being treated for other conditions.
There are no cases outside the quarantine net for the cluster associated with Ward 9D were detected.
The last case of exposure in TTSH wards was more than 2 weeks ago. The cases reported since then were already under active surveillance in isolation at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) or in quarantine.
Three-pronged approach to reopen safely
The hospital said it will take a three-pronged approach to bolster their lines of defence during this pandemic.
All patients who are admitted will be swabbed on admission, on a regular schedule during their stay, and prior to their discharge. This regular inpatient testing will help to detect asymptomatic cases and other cases that may be incubating the virus, the statement said. If detected, they can be isolated immediately, and close contacts put on quarantine.
All inpatients will wear the surgical masks if they can tolerate wearing a mask based on their medical condition. There will be proactive monitoring and testing of all inpatients who develop ARI (Acute Respiratory Infection) symptoms.