COVID-19: 3 doctors at National Skin Centre placed on 14-day LOA after close contact with infected colleague

(PHOTO: National Skin Centre (Singapore)/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — Three doctors from the National Skin Centre (NSC) have been placed on a 14-day leave of absence, after having close contact with a fellow doctor who tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Thursday (26 March) morning.

In response to queries from Yahoo News Singapore, the centre said in a statement that any NSC staff member exhibiting respiratory symptoms will also be tested for COVID-19 as a precautionary measure.

The 32-year-old Singaporean doctor – the 666th patient here to test positive for the virus – was one of 52 new cases confirmed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Thursday night, taking the city-state’s total to 683. The female doctor is also one of 42 local transmissions here with no established links.

She was last at work at the centre, located at 1 Mandalay Road, on Wednesday, said the NSC.

She had worn surgical face masks and gloves, as well as kept contact time with patients to less than 30 minutes during dermatological consultations.

The NSC added that it has implemented infection control measures – including high-frequency cleaning, social distancing and minimising of physical meetings – at its premise since the start of the outbreak to minimise the risk of transmission.

“The safety of our patients and staff is paramount. The NSC has thoroughly disinfected its clinics, high-touch and waiting areas upon receiving notification of the positive result this morning. The whole centre has again undergone complete disinfection this evening,” said the centre.

It added that it is working closely with the MOH to identify further contacts who need to be traced and isolated, including patients and staff members.

The health of its staff members will continue to be monitored, it said. They have also been reminded to observe high standards of personal hygiene and health with frequent hand washing, as well as observing safe distancing and twice-daily temperature taking.

“They have been advised to seek medical attention if they have flu-like symptoms such as runny nose, cough, shortness of breath, and to return to work only when fully well,” said the NSC.

The centre will remain open to serve patients, it added.

Of the 683 COVID-19 cases here, 172 have fully recovered. 18 patients remain in the intensive care unit while two – a 75-year-old Singaporean woman and a 64-year-old Indonesian man – have died.

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