Singapore Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms urged by health ministry, civil defence force to refrain from calling 995

In a joint statement, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) urged the public to use the 995 emergency number only for 'life-threatening emergencies'. ― TODAY pic
In a joint statement, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) urged the public to use the 995 emergency number only for 'life-threatening emergencies'. ― TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, Oct 25 — Around one in five 995 calls made between Oct 15 and 21 were from Covid-19 patients, most of whom did not suffer from life-threatening or emergency conditions, the authorities said today.

In a joint statement, the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) urged the public to use the 995 emergency number only for “life-threatening emergencies”.

“To ensure that the 995 Emergency Medical Services is able to provide responsive conveyance for those with emergency conditions, we advise individuals who are not experiencing life-threatening emergencies to refrain from calling 995,” they said.

There were 5,500 calls for medical assistance between Oct 15 and 21. Around 1,100 were Covid-19 patients and around half (47 per cent) of them ended up receiving day treatment and did not require hospitalisation.

Another 15 per cent of the Covid-related calls were warded for two days or less, mainly for observation.

MOH and SCDF stressed that the “appropriate activation” of 995 services and use of emergency department services is important as Singapore learns to live with Covid-19, since the hotline is used by both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients who need help for life-threatening conditions.

These conditions include the sudden onset of chest pain, breathlessness, drowsiness or confusion, the sudden onset of limb or body weakness, difficulty in speech or drooping of the face, severe bleeding from injuries, loss of consciousness, and unexplained jerking of the body or fits.

“(Proper activation of 995) will ensure that patients requiring emergency care are able to receive it in a timely and prompt manner,” they said.

 

Steps to take

Reiterating the present Covid-19 healthcare protocols, MOH and SCDF said that those who have tested positive through antigen rapid tests can visit a Public Health Preparedness Clinic via private transport if they feel unwell or are experiencing symptoms such as fever or persistent cough.

Those who had tested positive through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and are under the Home Recovery Programme, or who are awaiting to be taken to a care or isolation facility and have only mild symptoms, can seek medical help by reaching out to:

  • A telemedicine provider
  • Their regular primary care provider
  • The Home Recovery Buddy hotline at 6874-4939

— TODAY

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