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01 Aug 2022

1st Aug 2022

   With effect from 1 August 2022, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will transfer monkeypox cases assessed by the public hospitals to be clinically stable to a dedicated Monkeypox Isolation Facility (MIF), and adjust the quarantine period for close contacts to 14 days, followed by seven days of monitoring for symptoms. These updated public health measures are in line with the latest local and international data, including that from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Transfer of confirmed cases to a Monkeypox Isolation Facility

2. Monkeypox is typically a mild and self-limiting illness where the majority of patients recover within two to four weeks without requiring hospitalisation. Those particularly vulnerable to complications are young children, pregnant women and immunocompromised individuals. 
 
3. Previously, all confirmed cases of monkeypox were isolated in hospitals until they are non-infectious. On 29 July 2022, as part of a pilot to transit monkeypox cases to recover in the community, eight cases were conveyed from our public hospitals to the MIF. These cases are all currently in stable condition with mild symptoms. 

4. From 1 August 2022, all confirmed cases assessed by the public hospitals to be clinically stable will be conveyed to the MIF with 24/7 telemedicine support. These cases will recover in the MIF until they are deemed to be non-infectious and fit for discharge. Cases assessed by the public hospitals to be at higher risk of complications will continue to be managed in hospitals. This allows hospitals to preserve their capacity for cases with more severe symptoms or complications.

Adjustment of quarantine regime for close contacts

5. Given that transmission requires close physical or prolonged contact, including face to face and skin to skin contact such as sexual contact, the risk to the general public remains low. Evidence also points to a mean incubation period of approximately eight to nine days with most close contacts developing symptoms by Day 14 from their last exposure to a confirmed case.

6. Previously, close contacts were quarantined for up to 21 days from their last date of exposure to a confirmed case date. From 1 August 2022, persons under quarantine will be quarantined for 14 days followed by seven days of monitoring for symptoms via regular phone calls. These individuals will be able to complete their quarantine from home. Those who are unable to complete their quarantine from home will be transferred to a Government Quarantine Facility.

7. MOH will continue to monitor the monkeypox situation closely and calibrate our preparedness and response measures as needed. Members of the public are encouraged to exercise personal responsibility by monitoring their personal health, maintaining good hygiene, and avoiding high-risk sexual activity, such as having multiple sex partners or casual sex, especially during travel. They should also avoid close contact with individuals known or suspected to be ill with monkeypox infection.


MINISTRY OF HEALTH
1 AUGUST 2022