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News & Stories

​Stay updated on the latest in healthcare news, trends, stories and research at NUHS and its institutions.


13
Aug
2022

Indoor mask rule stays as COVID-19 cases remain high

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

A/Prof Alex Cook, Vice Dean of Research, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said with over 90 per cent of the population vaccinated and over half of the population infected, there is little reason to contain the virus. He felt there is no need to continue with mandatory mask-wearing. However, he added that wearing masks reduced the risk of transmission among those who were infectious but asymptomatic, and that those infected by COVID-19 should continue to wear masks while interacting with others. A/Prof Natasha Howard, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, shared that the benefits of the continued requirement for indoor mask-wearing are “minimal”. 

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12
Aug
2022

NUHS gives out awards to 80 medical staff, administrators at biennial event

Channel NewsAsia

​Extensive coverage of the National University Health System Tribute Awards highlighted that 80 awards were presented to National University Health System staff for their contributions to National University Health System and the healthcare system. Reports highlighted that Minister Ong Ye Kung presented one of the National University Health System Awards to Prof Lim Pin, for his significant contributions to Singapore healthcare. Prof Lim was a pioneer and the first Singaporean to publish papers in the British Medical Journal, the Quarterly Journal of Medicine and the New England Journal of Medicine, and had been the Deputy Chairman of the Economic Development Board from 1995 to 2000, and the Chairman of National Wages Council. Reports also noted the National University Health System Award was also presented to former Chief Executive of National University Health System, Prof John Wong Eu-Li, former Ministry of Health, Director of Medical Services (DMS), Prof K Satku, and National University of Singapore, Senior Vice President (Health Education & Resources) and former Ministry of Health, DMS A/Prof Benjamin Ong. Some 76 National University Health System staff received the National University Health System-Mochtar Riady Pinnacle Awards, and 14 clinicians received the honorary title of Emeritus Consultant.

Straits Times and other media also highlighted that baby Kwek Yu Xuan, who was discharged from National University Hospital last year as the world's smallest baby at birth, no longer requires the ventilator and is a mostly healthy and happy child. Her care team at the Department of Neonatology received the National University Health System-Mochtar Riady Pinnacle Award (Team Award) for their achievements in premature baby care. 

Dr Yvonne Ng, Senior Consultant, Department of Neonatology, Khoo Teck Puat-National University Children's Medical Institute, National University Hospital said her team follows up with the baby's growth and development as well as with the parents on how to cope with caring for her at home.

 In addition, A/Prof Zubair Amin, Head and Senior Consultant at the Department of Neonatology, Khoo Teck Puat-National University Children's Medical Institute, National University Hospital, also received the Master Clinician Award. Berita Harian featured A/Prof Zubair who shared that it is the collaboration and contribution of all parties including the baby's parents, which ensured the baby's well-being was taken care of in the hospital, at home and during follow-up treatment.

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7
Aug
2022

一波又一波!新加坡或将“定期接种新冠疫苗”提上日程 (Singapore may schedule “regular COVID-19 booster shots”)

Others

In a report on Minister for Health Ong Ye Kung’s response to a parliamentary question about the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak on 1 August, it was mentioned that general hospitals including SKH and NUH had reminded the public of the high volume in the emergency departments and longer waiting time for non-emergency patients.

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3
Aug
2022

Hoping to catch Covid-19 and 'get it over with'? Think again, say expert

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​A/Prof Alex Cook, Vice Dean of Research and Domain Leader for Biostatistics & Modelling, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), commented that even though the symptoms of COVID-19 are mild, there is still a small number of people who need to be hospitalised. A/Prof Natasha Howard from SSHSPH agreed, noting that aside from the risk of needing to be hospitalised, it was still uncertain how long immunity conferred by infection would last. 

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1
Aug
2022

Spike in demand here for throat sprays, mouthwash

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Straits Times reported on pharmacies seeing a spike in demand for throat sprays and mouth gargle products containing povidone iodine. It cited a study led by NUHS in 2020, which found that povidone iodine is more effective in reducing COVID-19 infections as compared with vitamin C.

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1
Aug
2022

தன்னலமற்ற பணியில் ஈடுபட்டுள்ள தாதியர்... தாதியர் தினம்... (Nurses’ Day – selfless work from nurses)

Others

​In this news segment on Nurses’ Day, NTFGH’s Senior Staff Nurses Ms Ms Padinjareparampil Lisarani and Ms Kailasam Thiripurasundari shared their views on the tokens of appreciation from the management and public. The clip featured NTFGH’s Nurses’ Day gift distribution sessions and patients penning thank you cards for the nurses.

Ms Sharanie Balasundaram, Nurse Clinician, NTFGH, expressed gratitude that the Dendrobium Incredible NUHS Nurses is the first national flower to be named after the nurses in Singapore, in recognition of their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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31
Jul
2022

Fighting COVID-19 Three Times

The Sunday Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Singaporeans who contracted COVID-19 thrice recalled having experienced symptoms which were milder compared to their previous infections. Prof Paul Tambyah, Senior Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases, National University Hospital, and Professor of Medicine, NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, said that COVID-19 reinfections tended to be milder and could probably extend to infections from future COVID-19 variants. He added that this was because all known human viruses mutate to become more transmissible and less virulent.  

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30
Jul
2022

国大医学组织表扬护士坚毅信念 新品种胡姬花首次以护士命名 (NUHS commends nurses for their commitment and perseverance - new orchid species named after nurses for the first time)

联合早报 © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

Lianhe Zaobao reported that public will soon be able to see new orchid species at the hospitals and polyclinics under the National University Health System (NUHS) cluster. This unique orchid species, named Dendrobium Incredible NUHS Nurses, is the first national flower to be named after the nurses in Singapore, in recognition of their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. On 29 July, NUHS celebrated Nurses' Day, and presented the Chief Nurses, who represented the nurses, a pot of the unique Dendrobium orchid. Giving an orchid a distinguished name is a tradition in Singapore to honour distinguished individuals and organisations, or to commemorate major events. Prof Yeoh Khay Guan, Chief Executive, NUHS, said the nurses in Singapore have shown incredible care, compassion, courage and conviction, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms Tan Poh Hoon, Senior Nurse Clinician, Alexandra Hospital, and Ms Noor Hasanah Hasnan, Nurse Manager, National University Hospital, were also featured on their dedication towards nursing.

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29
Jul
2022

冠病研究:全球约2700万人 染疫后或长期失去嗅觉味觉 (Study: About 27mil people around the globe risk losing sense of smell over long term due to COVID-19 infection)

联合早报 © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​A team of researchers has found that about 5% of the global population may develop long term issues with their sense of smell or taste after coming down with COVID-19. Led by A/Prof Toh Song Tar from Singapore General Hospital and Dr Benjamin Tan Kye Jyn from NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, the study published in the British Medical Journal on 28 July, showed that among the 550 million patients with COVID-19 so far, 15 million people reported long lasting loss of their sense of smell, and 12 million people reported long lasting loss of their sense of taste, affecting their quality of life. 

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28
Jul
2022

Singapore unlikely to see surge in COVID-19 deaths that NZ is facing, say experts

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Experts said that while there are many similarities between Singapore and New Zealand, there may be enough differences why the latter nation is suffering more deaths from COVID-19. A/Prof Alex Cook, Vice-Dean of Research, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), said that while the vast majority of people in both countries have been fully vaccinated, many more people in Singapore have received booster shots. Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of SSHSPH, agreed that the recent surge in New Zealand is largely among older people who are either unvaccinated or have not received boosters and believed it was driving the mortality rates in New Zealand. Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases, National University Hospital, said one cause could be the waning effects of the booster shot, and that health agencies need to continue to monitor emerging evidence on vaccine effectiveness and therapeutics and communicate this effectively to relevant groups. A/Prof Hsu Li Yang, Vice-Dean of Global Health, SSHSPH, said what might be more important is when infection occurred relative to the person's last jab, given that the protection does wane. 

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27
Jul
2022

No cause for concern for now, say experts

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

With the public’s concern on the Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5, Ministry of Health said that there is currently no clear evidence that Omicron variants cause more severe disease. A/Prof Hsu Li Yang, Vice-Dean of Global Health, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, said that it is partly because such a distinction would need careful and large-scale clinical studies to distinguish. Prof Hsu added that it is also partly because the global immunity to COVID-19 is such a patchwork of vaccinated and/or infected individuals, it will be hard to confirm if there really is a difference in relation to earlier variants. 

In a separate Yahoo! report, Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases, National University Hospital, and part of the World Health Organisation's Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network, noted that this has happened with the BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants, which are more infectious. While the BA.4 and BA.5 sub variants have caused more cases, there was no increase in the rate of severe diseases.

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26
Jul
2022

3 more monkeypox cases bring total in Singapore to 9

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases, National University Hospital, noted that the impact of monkeypox was unlikely to be on the same scale as that of COVID-19. A/Prof Hsu Li Yang, Vice-Dean of Global Health, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, highlighted that raising awareness of monkeypox transmission to at risk communities needs to be done with sensitivity to avoid stigmatising the community even further and have people seek treatment early.

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23
Jul
2022

SG sedang kaji vaksin COVID-19 bagi kanak-kanak bawah lima tahun (Singapore studying use of COVID-19 vaccines in children below five)

Berita Harian © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​In a report regarding a joint study on COVID-19 vaccination for children under five years old, it was mentioned that researchers from NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and Duke-NUS Medical School conducted an observational study in December 2021, on the COVID-19 vaccine's immunological response in children of various ages.

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23
Jul
2022

Bookings required for those under 80 who want Covid-19 jabs at polyclinics

The Straits Times © SPH Media Limited. Reproduced with permission

​The children's emergency departments at KK Women's and Children's Hospital and National University Hospital each saw an average of about 680 patients daily over the last two weeks, up from the usual average of about 450 per day. National University Health System (NUHS) said that patients who required care would continue to be attended to. However, it urged members of the public to visit general practitioners or 24-hour clinics for non-emergency cases. An NUHS spokesperson sought the public’s understanding that longer waiting time was expected at the emergency departments, and priority would be given to patients with more serious conditions.

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22
Jul
2022

CNA Explains: What we know about the new COVID-19 variant BA.2.75 or ‘Centaurus’

Channel NewsAsia

​Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases, NUH, noted that the new sublineage would need to be monitored to see if it has an advantage. If BA.2.75 has mutations that make the spike protein stickier, that would mean that less virus is needed to cause an infection, which makes it more transmissible. 

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