Several notices placed outside a clinic in Ubi had netizens scratching their heads.
On Monday (Feb 10), a Facebook user posted photos of the notices put up at Ubi Family Clinic & Surgery, that appeared to be turning away patients suffering from fever and flu-like symptoms, as well as those who had travelled to China in the past 14 days, "as advised by the Ministry of Health".
Workers who stayed at The Leo, a dormitory in Kaki Bukit, were also told to go directly to the hospital instead of entering the premises.
While the rationale behind directing the dormitory residents to a hospital seemed reasonable — a Bangladeshi worker living there recently tested positive for the coronavirus — the move to reject other patients simply for having flu-symptoms appeared to have rubbed others the wrong way.
After all, with the flu being one of the most common illnesses, would the clinic really turn away such patients?
A doctor at the clinic cleared up the confusion during an interview with Shin Min Daily when a reporter visited this morning (Feb 11).
It wasn't that they were refusing to treat patients with such symptoms, he said, they were just trying to protect the more vulnerable patients, such as the elderly and the young, from any potential infection.
As the clinic normally receives a large volume of patients, the waiting time to see the doctor can take as long as two hours. With everyone waiting inside the clinic together, he explained, they run a high risk of infection.
Hence, a notice was put up asking patients with fever and flu-like symptoms not to enter the clinic, but to wait outside the premises instead.
The message, however, appeared to be lost as a closer look at the notice only showed: "Please do not enter the clinic."
Due to the public confusion, the doctor told the Chinese daily that the notice would be replaced to make it clear that they were not rejecting patients, and those running fever and suffering from flu-like symptoms would only have to wait outside the clinic for their turn to see the doctor.
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