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    Our hospitals are seeing a high number of patients at their Emergency Departments (EDs), resulting in long queues and waiting times. Most of these patients did not require emergency care, and such unnecessary visits to the EDs risk compromising the standard of care for other patients who genuinely require emergency medical care. 

2.  The Children’s Emergency (CE) departments at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and National University Hospital have experienced very high attendances over the past two weeks. This week, there were on average more than 650 cases per day across both CEs, up from an average of 450 cases per day in early January. Approximately 80% of the patients, including those with COVID-19 infections, presented with mild symptoms, did not require hospitalisation, and were discharged after their ED visits. Amongst paediatric patients who were admitted, most did not stay long in hospital, and were discharged on average within two to three days. The proportion of severe COVID-19 infections and Multi-system Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) remains low, at less than 1 out of 1,000 paediatric cases. 

3.  We advise the public to seek medical treatment at a hospital’s ED only for serious or life-threatening emergencies, such as chest pain, breathlessness and uncontrollable bleeding. This allows those with severe illness in need of emergency care to be attended to quickly. It also helps to preserve our hospital capacity for those who truly need acute hospital care. 

4.  We urge members of the public, including children, to visit their General Practitioners (GP) or a 24-hour clinic for non-emergencies. If COVID-19 testing or review for symptoms of acute respiratory infection is needed, they can visit Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPC) for further assessment. Over 700 PHPCs are open after office hours on selected days. There are six paediatric swab centres which support paediatric swabs for children aged 6 years and below, of which 4 are open after office hours on selected days (please refer to the Annex).

5.  The public may access the latest list of GP clinics and their operating hours at:

  • The Ministry of Health’s (MOH) corporate website;
  • The Agency for Integrated Care’s (AIC) website;
  • Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) webpage; and
  • HealthHub mobile application, which is available on both the App Store and the Google Play Store.     


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