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Precautionary measures for seniors

MOH calls for 14-day suspension of senior-centric activities conducted by Government agencies.

Line-dancing conducted by People’s Association.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has studied the pattern of transmission of COVID-19 among recent confirmed cases and found that many of the cases were transmitted during social activities and gatherings among seniors. For example, many of the confirmed cases were linked to the SAFRA Jurong cluster and other social activities. These are mainly seniors who took part in singing classes and other activities such as qigong and line-dancing at several community clubs (CCs) and residents’ committees (RCs). They are active agers who participate often in such group activities, joining multiple groups across different venues in Singapore.

Said MOH in its press release, “While we encourage seniors to be active, there is now evidence of COVID-19 transmission among the seniors participating in such social activities, chiefly because some individuals who were unwell had continued to participate in them.”

As such, MOH has taken precautionary measures for these groups of seniors with a 14-day suspension from March 11 to 24 of all senior-centric activities conducted by Government agencies. These include activities held at Senior Activity Centres, Active Ageing Hubs, CREST centres, Health Promotion Board (HPB) and ActiveSG sport centres. The list of activities which are suspended can be found on PA’s and MyActiveSG’s website, as well as HPB’s HealthHub portal or Healthy 365 mobile app.

It added that in the interim, organisers of activities will implement additional precautionary measures before activities resume. These include reducing the group size of activities to prevent crowding, re-organising activities to minimise physical contact, increasing the frequency of sanitising equipment between activities, providing sufficient facilities for regular hand-washing, and checking if participants are well.

Care services for seniors – such as nursing homes, inpatient and day hospices, senior care centre services and home-based care services – will continue to run, but with additional precautionary measures.

MOH further emphasised that seniors who feel unwell should see a doctor and stay at home. Those who are well can continue to go to work, and go about their daily routine such as marketing and individual exercise in the meantime. But they should continue to take precautionary measures to keep themselves safe, such as maintaining good personal hygiene, washing their hands frequently and avoiding touching their face and eyes.

It added: “Socially irresponsible behaviour poses a risk to all. The measures we have implemented will not work if individuals do not cooperate, and continue to engage in socially irresponsible behaviour. We urge all Singaporeans to play their part in the fight against the virus. Those who are unwell, even with mild flu-like symptoms, should see a doctor and stay at home to prevent spreading illness to others.”

The Multi-Ministry Taskforce is assessing the situation locally as well as globally, and is studying a broader range of social distancing measures we might take to help further slowdown the spread of the virus.

 

(** PHOTO CREDIT: People’s Association)

 


 

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