April 2020 has been a rollercoaster ride for all of us. This month began with Singapore entering into a Circuit Breaker period from 7 April 2020 till 4 May 2020, which was then followed by the announcement of a 4-week extension till 1 June 2020. These steps were taken to reduce the risk of further local transmissions of COVID-19 in Singapore.
During this time, the Government has placed enhanced restrictions on non-essential and essential services. All non-essential services will remain closed until at least 1 June. Essential services will continue during the Circuit Breaker period, with additional safe distancing measures put in place.
As Nuffield Dental is an essential health service under the Circuit Breaker regulations, we are open during this period. However, we are only available to see patients for emergency or urgent dental treatment (e.g. broken dentures, bridges, crowns, wisdom tooth pain, swollen gum & mouth). All elective and non-emergency dental services and procedures have been deferred.
As we remain open during the current Circuit Breaker period, Nuffield Dental is taking all possible safety measures to protect our patients, staff, and their families:
- Social distancing at all clinics.
- Calling to check if patients are well before their appointment.
- Regular disinfection of all surfaces.
- Health and travel declaration by all visitors.
- Temperature checks of staff twice daily.
- Wearing of surgical masks at all times.
- Frequent hand washing by staff.
While Nuffield Dental is made up predominantly of front-line staff, we have many back-end staff who work hard to ensure our operations run smoothly. In tandem with the Circuit Breaker, all Nuffield Dental backend employees have been working from home to protect our patients, staff, and their families.
Although telecommuting was uncharted territory for most of them, the decision was made to keep everyone safe. Whilst telecommuting has its challenges, we try to keep communication alive whilst working remotely, through regular company-wide conference calls.
As safe distancing measures continue to be enforced during this period, we understand that many may not want to leave their home to seek dental advice. To try to bridge the gap, Nuffield Dental recently launched a free video chat call service for anyone to use to discuss their dental concerns with one of our clinicians, from the comfort of their home.
As we continue into the Circuit Breaker, it is important to remember that although community spread numbers in Singapore have fallen significantly, we have not seen the end of this pandemic. We all have a part to play in not being complacent and helping to drive the infected rate to zero.
We seek your cooperation to stay at home as much as possible to flatten the curve. In so doing, you are also doing a service for all the healthcare workers working round-the-clock at the frontlines.
We can overcome this unprecedented challenge together as one Singapore.