Singapore has closed one of five makeshift COVID-19 hospitals as the outbreak declines.
The facility at the Changi Exhibition Centre was formally mothballed yesterday, four months after it opened to patients. In that time, it housed more than 14,000 people who had tested positive for the coronavirus.
“We celebrate openings, but today’s celebration was for a closing – after months of operations and having cared for over 14,000 recovering COVID-19 patients, the Changi Exhibition Centre Community Care and Recovery Facility was stood down,” Defence Minister Ng Eng Heng said today, announcing the news.
While it’s unclear when the exhibition hall would resume the kind of large-scale happenings such as the Singapore Airshow and concerts it normally hosts, nothing is on its event calendar.
The other makeshift hospitals; including the Singapore Expo, D’Resort NTUC, Tuas South and the Big Box shopping mall; remain in operation with 1,514 patients under isolation, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.
Singapore had repurposed the venues to isolate the infected, mostly migrant workers, in order to free up space at hospitals.
Earlier this year, the virus devastated Singapore’s large population of migrant laborers as it ripped through their worker housing. Although the government this month declared all worker dormitories “clear” of the virus, two new clusters emerged in the past week at the Sungei Tengah Lodge and Tuas View dorms.
Since the outbreak began, Singapore has recorded 56,435 infections. Of those, 53,355 lived in worker dorms. The official death toll stands at 27.
Other stories you should check out:
Migrant worker tea-time crush clip was old and situation now ‘improved’: Defense Ministry
Look inside Singapore’s exhibition hall turned hospital (Photos)
Nurses step up, go all in on morning dance for recovering workers