Effective from Tuesday, face-to-face visits will be permitted at nursing hospitals, nursing homes, and facilities for the disabled. Visitors will be allowed in these facilities in two months since on-site visits were banned on July 25, during the sixth wave of COVID-19.
According to the Central Disaster Management Headquarters on Monday, on-site visits will be allowed at nursing hospitals/facilities, psychiatric hospitals/facilities, and facilities for the disabled. Until recently, only non-contact visits were permitted, allowing families to visit, but contact was shut off by a plexiglass shield. Physical contact is not prohibited, allowing families to hold hands while talking.
Visitors are required to go through self-testing provided on-site, wait for 15 minutes for the results, and are permitted to enter if negative. "Please wear a mask throughout the visit," said an official with the headquarters. “We ask facilities to follow basic COVID-19 protocol, such as airing the facilities before the visit.”
Patients, who had been allowed to leave the facilities only on necessary out-patient services, will be permitted to leave or stay overnight. However, this will only be permitted to those who have received their fourth vaccine or have a history of testing COVID-19 positive after receiving at least two vaccine shots. Those returning to the facilities will be required to undergo self-testing.
Easing COVID-19 protocol within vulnerable facilities was possible based on the view that the COVID-19 situation is stable. As of Monday midnight, the number of newly confirmed patients was 12,150. The daily number of new COVID-19 patients last week (Sept 27-Oct 3) was 28,231, which declined from the previous week (31,500). Cluster infections in vulnerable facilities are also declining, with 3,015 in the fourth week of August, 2, 308 in the first week of September, and 1,075 in the second week of September.