Hospitals are to step up infection controls for COVID-19 by improving division of labor, such as breaking small work units into even smaller units, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said on Sunday.
For example, if 15 healthcare personnel are assigned to look after 15 patients, it might be changed to five medical staff for five patients, which would reduce the risk of infection, said Chen, who heads the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC).
Managing the flow of patients in hospitals is another focus of measures to protect against COVID-19, said Department of Medical Affairs Director-General Shih Chung-liang (石崇良), another CECC official.
Hospitals are to designate separate entrances and exits for inpatients, outpatients and people in emergency rooms, to prevent hospital-acquired COVID-19 infections, Shih said, adding that cleaning, security and maintenance staff would be required to follow the guidelines.
Centers for Disease Control Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that the nation’s hospitals have adequate beds in negative-pressure isolation wards for people who have or are suspected to have COVID-19, with 53 percent of such beds still available and more to be added if needed.
Taiwan’s hospitals have 943 beds in negative-pressure isolation wards, 501 of which are still available, Chuang said.
If there is a shortage, more isolation facilities could be added by using general wards or reconfiguring single-bed rooms, he said.
Meanwhile, the Chang Gung Medical Foundation announced on its Web site that people are advised against visiting its affiliated hospitals except for medical emergencies within 14 days of having been in China, including Hong Kong and Macau, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Iran or Italy.
A similar notice has been posted for about a month, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital deputy superintendent Huang Jing-long (黃璟隆) said yesterday.
“Hospitals have their own management and we would respect their decisions,” Chen said, adding, however, that regulations should be relaxed if a situation calls for an exception.
Additional reporting by Lin Hui-chin
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