Gan: Hospitals are prepared for haze, dengue epidemic

SINGAPORE - When the haze was more severe in the week beginning June 17, there was a 16.5 per cent increase in polyclinic attendance compared to the week before, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong told Parliament on Monday.

But attendance at hospital accident and emergency departments did not show any significant increase, he added.

As the air quality improved in the last week of June, polyclinic attendance also went down. This could be because the public took to the advice of remaining indoors, said Mr Gan.

The Ministry has also worked with hospitals to retrofit suitable spaces within the hospitals to have additional beds in the event of a demand surge due to an increase in dengue cases.

Said Mr Gan: "We will work hard to care for the patients in our public sector hospitals and health-care institutions so that they are not adversely affected by the haze. If the haze situation is bad, they will close windows and doors to reduce the inflow of dust particles. If necessary, air-circulation improvement devices will also be used to improve the ventilation for patients in non-air-conditioned wards. For especially vulnerable patients, provisions are being made to put in air purifiers to help reduce the impact of the haze."


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