SINGAPORE, Aug 2 — The Singapore Ministry of Health (MOH) said that it will transfer monkeypox patients who have been assessed by the public hospitals to be “clinically stable” to a dedicated monkeypox isolation facility from yesterday.

This is to allow hospitals to preserve their capacity for patients with more severe symptoms or complications.

Previously, all confirmed monkeypox patients were isolated in hospitals until they are non-infectious.

At the same time, the ministry will also shorten the quarantine period for close contacts of monkeypox patients from 21 days to 14 days, followed by seven days of monitoring for symptoms.

In a statement, MOH stressed that these updated public health measures are in line with the latest data here and overseas, including that from the World Health Organisation.

MOH said that eight patients were moved from the public hospitals to the monkeypox isolation facility last Friday as part of a “pilot to transit monkeypox cases to recover in the community”.

“These cases are all currently in stable condition with mild symptoms,” it said, adding that the patients will receive telemedicine support around the clock.

“These cases will recover in the (monkeypox isolation facility) until they are deemed to be non-infectious and fit for discharge. Cases assessed by the public hospitals to be at higher risk of complications will continue to be managed in hospitals. This allows hospitals to preserve their capacity for cases with more severe symptoms or complications,” MOH added.

It did not state where the facility is located.

The ministry continues to stress that the risk of monkeypox to the general population “remains low” as “transmission requires close physical or prolonged contact”.

“Evidence also points to a mean incubation period of approximately eight to nine days with most close contacts developing symptoms by Day 14 from their last exposure to a confirmed case.

“From Aug 1, persons under quarantine will be quarantined for 14 days followed by seven days of monitoring for symptoms via regular phone calls. These individuals will be able to complete their quarantine from home. Those who are unable to complete their quarantine from home will be transferred to a government quarantine facility.” MOH also said that it will continue to monitor the situation here closely and calibrate its preparedness and response measures as needed.

“Members of the public are encouraged to exercise personal responsibility by monitoring their personal health, maintaining good hygiene, and avoiding high-risk sexual activity, such as having multiple sex partners or casual sex, especially during travel.

“They should also avoid close contact with individuals known or suspected to be ill with monkeypox infection,” it added. — TODAY