SINGAPORE: Singapore announced on Friday that it will re-activate a special clinics scheme from Feb 18 to better detect and manage novel coronavirus infections, a Xinhua news report said.

The country’s health ministry said that about 900 general practitioner clinics, previously activated to deal with haze and the H1N1 influenza pandemic, will be reactivated as Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs) to provide subsidized treatment, investigations and drugs during public health outbreaks.

According to the ministry, the PHPCs will be progressively activated to provide special subsidies for Singaporean citizens and permanent residents diagnosed with respiratory illnesses. In addition, Singapore’s polyclinics will also enable patients to apply for the special subsidies.

With the special subsidies, citizens and permanent residents diagnosed with respiratory illnesses will pay a flat rate of S$10 for medical treatment. Elderly people will pay five Singapore dollars.

“The activation of PHPCs and polyclinics will allow us to enhance disease surveillance,” said MOH.

“We will be able to better detect the virus earlier, and reduce the risk of further transmission.”

The ministry also announced that it has confirmed nine additional cases of novel coronavirus infection as of Friday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in Singapore to 67.

A video clip by Channel News Asia