Be it working in segregated teams, lunching alone, or embracing technology to stay socially connected while being physically apart, NHCS takes safe-distancing seriously. Pictured on the left is Medical Director, Prof Terrance Chua taking to Zoom like fish to water, and yes, having lunch alone while at it.


By now, you would have heard the buzz word ‘safe-distancing’.

So why is safe-distancing important? A safe distance between people at the workplace, in particular our healthcare environment, can:

  • Reduce the risk of virus transmission
  • Reduce the number of staff who will be quarantined, in the event that one of your colleagues is tested positive for COVID-19

Echoing the Government’s announcement on the implementation of safe distancing measures, the SingHealth Distancing Workgroup (comprises representatives from all SingHealth institutions) has established the following safe distancing principles and guidelines:

  • Maintain a distance of minimally one metre between persons
  • Minimise face-to-face interactions by leveraging on teleconferencing, telephony or messaging options
  • If meetings are unavoidable, meeting size should be limited, and attendees must don a surgical mask if there are more than 10 persons
  • Work in small, segregated teams of not more than 10 persons through the day
  • Have meals only with members of your segregated team (not more than 2 persons)
  • Patient-fronting staff must wear a surgical mask or don the appropriate PPE

It is important that all safe-distancing measures be observed together with good hand hygiene practice. What all these mean is that each of us has to be socially responsible at all times, be it at work or after office hours, and even during meal times.

Correspondingly, NHCS has implemented additional measures in our public and staff spaces. All tables and chairs are now at least a metre apart. Queue areas have also been demarcated with coloured tapes.

NHCS safe-distancing measures 
Safe-distancing measures have been implemented at both the public (top) and staff (bottom) areas to keep our patients, visitors and fellow colleagues safe. 

“While our healthcare capacity is equipped to handle the pandemic, a continuing rising trend in infections will only add burden to our frontline colleagues who are already working round the clock,” said Medical Director, Prof Terrance Chua. “It is imperative that every single staff adheres strictly to safe-distancing measures because all it takes is one person or a seemingly harmless scenario to take down weeks of defence that has been painstakingly built.”


temporary staff pantry

To ensure staff have sufficient space to rest and have their meals, colleagues at the Operating Theatre cleverly converted an unused room into a temporary pantry.

NHCS Nurses safe-distancing
Nurses from the Cardiac Clinic in high spirits while keeping to the one-metre rule.

Remember, distancing will break the chain of transmission only if each individual takes ownership of our health.

Let’s care for one another at a distance, for distance will make us stronger.