Health Ministry quizzed over quarantine facilities


  • AseanPlus News
  • Friday, 16 May 2003

IT WAS two moves, not one, for the staff of the Institute of Mental Health. 

Late Tuesday night they moved into quarantine facilities in Woodlands, The Straits Times reported. 

On Wednesday, they moved again – to several hotels here. They will serve out their 10-day voluntary quarantine at the hotels, which the Health Ministry did not want to name. 

The staff had volunteered to go into quarantine after it was found that a group of patients and nurses had fever, and the health authorities decided to treat them as a new cluster of possible Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) cases. 

Wednesday night, the Health Ministry said 27 patients and 10 staff had been admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for observation. 

In its nightly update, it also said there were no new cases, discharges or deaths. The number who have recovered still stands at 157, with 19 in hospital, eight of them in intensive care. 

On the IMH, it said 124 staff had moved into the Woodlands HDB flats. 

Earlier Wednesday, the institute’s spokesman said that because of the urgency of the situation, it settled for the isolation accommodation, as it was available immediately. 

But Wednesday morning, the institute began looking for ‘better housing’, she added. 

She would not say specifically what was wrong with the flats. 

Three rental blocks in Woodlands have been set aside for emergency housing. 

The Housing Board told The Straits Times on Wednesday night that the IMH staff were moved into Block 153 on Tuesday evening and Block 147 on Wednesday morning. 

Sources said only one block was in move-in condition. But the HDB disagreed, saying that all units were ready for immediate occupation. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network.  

  • Another perspective from The Straits Times, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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