COVID-19 Information

Important information for ASEAN patients accessing treatment in Singapore

 

Update as at Monday 23rd March 2020: 

In line with COVID-19 there are new Border Control Measures for short-term visitors travelling into Singapore which will affect our patients coming into Singapore for treatment. Please be informed that short-term visitors will NOT be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore as of Monday 23rd March 11.59pm until further notice.

Supporting you to access the medical care you need is incredibly important to Icon and our doctors. If you have been receiving care at Icon Cancer Centre, Icon Haematology or Icon Health Screening, our team will continue to support you during this challenging period to provide you remote support services for your healthcare.

To seek assistance, please WhatsApp or contact our dedicated medical concierge hotline during office hours:

  • For English and Mandarin: +65 9830 2049 or +65 9754 8216
  • For Bahasa Indonesian: +65 8597 6128
  • For Vietnamese: +65 9225 4782

 


Information as at Monday 16 March 2020:

From 12 midnight on Monday 16 March 2020, all ASEAN nationals seeking to make a short-term visit to Singapore must seek a formal Health Clearance. To enable this, patients must submit mandatory information about their health condition in order to seek clearance before their intended date of travel into Singapore.

ASEAN nationals from the following countries must seek approval: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

All Icon patients must ensure that their applications have been approved by Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH) before they travel to Singapore.

Approved applications will be verified by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) officers at Singapore airport. Short-term visitors who arrive without the following will be denied entry into Singapore:

  • The necessary approval from Singapore’s MOH
  • Proof of the place where they will serve the 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN)
  • Ability to meet all prevailing entry requirements

All nationals of ASEAN countries are advised to obtain the approved health clearance from the Singapore’s MOH before making their travel bookings.

A step-by-step guide to applying for clearance and the arrival process is available at the links below:

COVID-19: keeping you safe

As we continue to face the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) global pandemic, we want to reassure you that we are undertaking the most stringent hygiene practices and screening measures to ensure the safety of our patients, doctors and staff within our centre.

Icon has enforced all Ministry of Health (MOH) recommendations and have installed extra screening stations across all our clinics to ensure the safety of our patients and visitors in and out of the clinics, including:

  • Checking temperature and general symptoms of all patients and visitors
  • All patients are required to complete a health declaration form
  • Screening for travel history. People who have travelled to heightened areas of concern (Mainland China, Republic of Korea, Italy, Iran, France, Germany, Spain) in the last 14 days and/or been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case are not permitted into the clinic
  • Continuing to monitor the health of our staff and have procedures in place to ensure we can continue to provide care during this time

What to do if you are currently receiving treatment

If you are currently receiving cancer treatment please continue to go to the clinic for treatment and take precautions when travelling to and from your appointments – always practice good personal hygiene and wear a mask.

We will isolate patients and visitors who fit the current MOH suspected case definitions for COVID-19 who then may be referred to the nearest A&E or escalated to MOH for further management. If you are feeling unwell please call the clinic ahead of your visit.

What will happen if I contract COVID-19 during my treatment?

At Icon, we manage many conditions with a wide variety of treatments. It is not uncommon for our patients to develop seasonal flu and other infections during active treatment cancer care and we are well prepared to manage your safety and the safety of our staff if you do develop COVID-19. At this point in time you may need a temporary break from treatment, treatment after-hours or in a dedicated protected treatment area, or treatment at another site. Your doctors will carefully consider what is the best approach in your circumstance.

If you have a fever after treatment or develop flu-like symptoms

As per general direction by your doctor and nursing team it is important to monitor your health during chemotherapy treatment. If you develop a fever it is important to always contact the clinic immediately. Many of the known symptoms of COVID-19 are general symptoms and side-effects experienced by cancer patients. We advise closely monitoring your health and to look out for new or worsening symptoms and call your clinic if you are feeling unwell.

It is important to remain calm and vigilant during this time. Icon is taking every precaution to prevent spread of the virus and ensure the safety of our patients, doctors and staff. Please continue to check the Ministry of Health website https://www.moh.gov.sg/ and/or Facebook page for updates on the evolving situation.

How cancer patients can protect themselves from COVID-19 and what you should know

Patients with cancer who are undergoing treatment have a weakened immune system, which makes them more vulnerable to general infections, including COVID-19. It is particularly important for patients having chemotherapy to take extra caution during this time. Alongside the measures Icon is taking in line with the Ministry of Health guidelines to ensure the safety of our patients at our clinics, here are some general steps cancer patients can take to help protect from infections such as COVID-19.

Observe good personal hygiene and wash hands regularly

Most infections travel through the oral route. It is important to practice good hand hygiene and always wash your hands before every meal and make sure you wash your hands with soap and water for about 20 seconds and sufficiently dry them. If you don’t have access to fresh water, carry around a hand sanitiser that contains high alcohol content. Also try to avoid touching your face frequently, particularly with unclean hands.

Practice social distancing

Social distancing is one of the best ways that you can reduce your risk of exposure to COVID-19. Stay 1.5 metres away from others and avoid shaking hands, hugging and kissing others.

Avoid contact with people who are sick

Avoid close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness. Steer clear of crowded places and wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough or runny nose. If you have been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case please monitor your health and self-isolate and call your doctor to seek medical advice immediately.

Maintain a balanced diet

Nutrition will help build the body’s immune system. You should always try to maintain a balanced diet, particularly during chemotherapy treatment. There are certain foods you should avoid during treatment, ensuring you only eat cooked foods (all fruit and vegetables should be cooked or peeled) to minimise the risk of bacterial infections as the body’s immune system is weaker throughout your treatment. Similarly, avoid crowds and gatherings where it is difficult to maintain distance from others, for example family celebrations or public places. Try to reduce your contact with others to fifteen minutes of close face to face contact, or less than two hours in the same room

Exercise regularly

During cancer treatment it is important to continue an active lifestyle and exercise in accordance to what is suitable for your condition as advised by your doctor. It is recommended to exercise 30 minutes a day. This can be light exercise such as a walk in the park. If you are more comfortable with staying indoors during this time, you can exercise in your home, this can be simply walking or maybe dancing to a video.

Regular sleep

Sleeping helps your body stay strong. The adult body needs 6 – 8 hours of sleep every day which will help build your immune system.

Healthy mental health

Poor mental health can lead to unhealthy habits. It can lead to poor diet, lack of sleep and exercise resulting in a weakened immune system. A cancer diagnosis can be a highly emotional time in someone’s life and that of their family and friends. It is important to have a trusted support network and keep a positive attitude throughout your treatment and beyond. If you are struggling please talk to your doctor who will be able to connect you with support groups and counselling services.

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