Average time taken to issue quarantine orders rises from 1.5 to two days amid more Covid-19 cases, says Singapore health minister

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung says the average time between when a person is exposed to an infected Covid-19 patient and when the individual is served a quarantine order has increased from one-and-a-half days to two days. ― Mediacorp pic via TODAY
Health Minister Ong Ye Kung says the average time between when a person is exposed to an infected Covid-19 patient and when the individual is served a quarantine order has increased from one-and-a-half days to two days. ― Mediacorp pic via TODAY

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SINGAPORE — The average time between when a person is exposed to an infected Covid-19 patient and when the individual is served a quarantine order has increased from one-and-a-half days to two days due to the greater volume of cases as of late.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said this in his written response to a parliamentary question by Workers’ Party Member of Parliament Louis Chua yesterday (August 2).

Chua, who is also the MP for Sengkang Group Representation Constituency, had asked what are the average and longest time intervals from the day a person is exposed to an infected Covid-19 patient to the day he or she is served a quarantine order.

He also asked how the average speed of isolating close contacts of Covid-19 cases has changed since the start of the year.

In his reply, Ong said as of July, the mean time taken to issue a quarantine order to a close contact of a Covid-19 patient was two days, while the longest interval was 14 days.

“This happened for a small number of individuals, where it was particularly difficult to trace the contacts of the infected,” he said.

The mean time in January this year was shorter, at one-and-a-half days, as Singapore recorded fewer daily Covid-19 cases then, said Ong.

“While on the subject we would like to record our appreciation for the men and women who work 24/7 on the contact tracing and quarantine ops, as they are a vital enabler for our Covid-19 strategy, and we urge members of the public to co-operate with their requests for information, so that we can all be better protected,” he added.

TODAY has reached out to MoH to ask whether the 14-day interval has been the record since the pandemic started. ― TODAY

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