Are optical clinics open for business?
At the start of 2020, Covid-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) hit our shores. Soon after, the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a pandemic. As Covid-19 cases started to climb in our community, the Singapore Government implemented the Circuit Breaker (CB) to contain the spread of the disease.
During the CB, the public was advised to stay home as much as possible and only leave home for essential services which included purchasing of food or seeing the doctor if unwell. Most workplaces were also closed except for those providing essential services (eg food, transportation, health and social services, haircuts). Most of the working population had to work from home while schools moved to home-based learning.
While private acute hospitals (including eye specialist clinics) were allowed to remain open for essential services, they were only allowed to take in appointments that were urgent and required immediate medical attention. All non-essential and non-urgent appointments were to be deferred.
As Singapore entered Phase 2 of post-CB, specialist medical clinics resumed seeing all types of medical appointments. At the same time, the government has deemed it safe for the public to resume activities outside of their homes. Safety measures were in place though, with gathering in groups of no more than 5 people. It is also mandatory to wear a mask in public.
At Atlas Eye Specialist Centre, we have also resumed seeing patients in Phase 3 including those who required cataract surgery as well as elective surgeries such as LASIK. Following the guidelines set out by the Ministry of Health, we ensure that all who entered our premises go through a triage. Those who are unwell or have been out of the country 14 days prior to their appointment will be denied entry. Social distancing measures have been implemented including:
- Placing ‘keep 1 metre apart’ signages on the seats at the waiting area
- Allowing only 1 companion if a patient has special needs (eg younger than 21 years old, elderly)