SINGAPORE — Of the 5,500 calls for medical assistance received by SCDF 995 Operations Centre between 15 and 21 October 2021, about a fifth were from COVID-19 patients.
However, after being conveyed to the nearest Emergency Department (ED), almost half of these patients received only day treatment and did not need to be hospitalised. In addition, 15 per cent of them were warded for two days or less, and mainly for observation.
In a statement on Monday (25 October), the Ministry of Health (MOH) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) stressed again that the 995 hotline should be activated only for emergency conditions.
"To ensure that the 995 EMS (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," said the agencies.
Such conditions include sudden onset of chest pain, breathlessness, drowsiness or confusion, 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.
MOH and SCDF added, "As we learn to live with COVID-19, appropriate activation of 995 EMS and use of ED services is important. It will ensure that patients requiring emergency care are able to receive it in a timely and prompt manner."
Individuals who have gotten a positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test and are recovering at home under the Home Recovery Programme or awaiting conveyance to a care or isolation facility, but experiencing only mild symptoms, are instead advised to seek medical help via the following:
A telemedicine provider (go.gov.sg/telemedicineproviders)
Their regular primary care provider
The HR Buddy hotline (6874 4939).
Those who have tested positive in their Antigen Rapid Test (ART) and are feeling unwell or experiencing symptoms such as fever or persistent cough, should visit a Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) via private transport for medical attention.
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