'We cannot cope': Some healthcare workers overwhelmed by long queue at hospital amid Covid-19 surge

PHOTO: Instagram/Sgnightingales

As Singapore sees a surge in Covid-19 cases due to Omicron, there have been reports of people flocking to hospitals for medical attention.

Some healthcare workers said they are struggling to cope with the situation, as they shared photos of the long queue outside the emergency department of a local hospital via Instagram page SGNightingales on Wednesday (Feb 16).

"Real-life situation captured yesterday. Our fellow healthcare professionals are really doing their best, and the truth is we cannot cope," the caption read.

The sentiment was echoed in another SGNightingales post on Tuesday, where healthcare workers talked about the situation at the emergency decontamination area at KK Women's and Children's Hospital.

They said they were overwhelmed by the number of patients showing up at the hospital.

In the comments section, netizens showed their appreciation to the healthcare workers.

Screengrab/Instagram/Sgnightingales

At a Covid-19 multi-ministry taskforce press conference on Wednesday, Health Minister Ong Ye Kung said there is stress felt in the healthcare system, especially those at the front end such as general practitioners (GPs) clinics, polyclinics and hospitals’ emergency departments (EDs).

"The GPs and EDs have been telling us that the great majority of patients who go to them have no symptoms or mild symptoms."

He noted the importance of preserving hospital capacity so that care goes to those who need it most.

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Thus, Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms should instead visit quick test centres to take a supervised antigen rapid test and have results recorded in their HealthHub.

"Please consider using these avenues or simply recover at home, if your symptoms are mild or you have no symptoms," Ong said.

On Wednesday, Singapore saw 16,883 new Covid-19 cases, a slight fall from the daily high of 19,420 cases the day before.

"If Singapore is like many other countries that have gone through, or are going through the Omicron wave, in a few weeks, cases will come down - perhaps even quite dramatically," Ong added.

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amierul@asiaone.com