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COVID-19: Official Information and Useful Health Tips

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Hypersonic

With the situation escalating by the day and the other thread moving 2Fast2Furious, we have decided to start this thread to share / highlight critical information relating to the virus outbreak and important health tip for easy reference by all MCF readers.

We urge all to post only official information and useful tips from reputable sources to maintain the "tidiness" of this thread. Any post we deem unfit for this thread will be deleted or shifted to the other thread. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

@pChou @BabyBlade @kobayashiGT Please feel free to add other criteria to this thread and we shall regulate it from time to time. As a rule of thumb, NO tcss here...

Some useful websites for official information:

Some useful tips for protect yourself and others from getting sick. More will be added in due course.

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Twincharged

Disease Outbreak Response System Condition (DORSCON)

https://www.moh.gov.sg/2019-ncov-wuhan

As of today, we are at Dorscon Yellow. Heightened alert, but no clampdown.

In the uni, students are allowed to move about, medical students can go to the hospitals.

NUH, AH and Ng Teng Fong are open for full patient load.

SGH is on reduced load.

 

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Twincharged (edited)

LOA: leave of absence

- you don't need to take your own leave and it's not an MC and you are still entitled to your normal sick leave

- your salary will continue to be paid 

- it's not a quarantine, so it's legal to go out and mingle, although it's discouraged

 

Do not treat these people like infected individuals. We do not have a community infection yet. Stay safe, but stay sane too.

 

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/leave-of-absence-step-to-affect-800-students

Edited by therock
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Supersonic

For all the BOSSES

https://www.enterprisesg.gov.sg/2019-ncov

Quote

Advisory on the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Quote

Precautionary Measures for Returning Travellers
9. Please obtain a health and travel declaration from employees on whether they have travelled to China recently, or if they have any upcoming travel plans to China.

10. With effect from 31 January 2020, 1800h, the following returning groups are to be placed on a 14-day Leave of Absence from the day of their return from mainland China6:

  • Residents (Singaporean Citizens/ PRs) with recent travel history to Mainland China within the last 14 days; and
  • Long-term pass holders (including Work Passes and Permits, Student Pass, Dependent Pass and Long-term Visit Pass) with recent travel history to Mainland China within the last 14 days.

Please direct your employees placed on Leave of Absence to this advisory by the MOH for more details.
11. Do closely monitor the health condition of employees who have been in mainland China and returned to Singapore before 31 January 2020, 1800h, for 14 days upon their return to Singapore.

12. During the 14-day monitoring period, we encourage you to adopt flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting and teleconferencing to allow your employees to work from home. If remote working is not possible, you may consider the following options:

  • Provide paid Leave of Absence above and beyond annual leave, especially if the travel was work-related. To better support employees, employers should consider this option even if the travel was not work-related;
  • Allow employees to apply for annual leave;
  • Treat Leave of Absence as sick leave;
  • Allow employees to apply for no-pay leave;
  • Other mutually agreed arrangements.

Please refer to this advisory by the MOM for more details on the 14-day monitoring period.
13. Employees who are served a Quarantine Order will be deemed to be on paid sick leave. The period of absence from work will be treated as paid hospitalisation leave, as part of the employees’ hospitalisation leave eligibility under their employment contracts, collective agreements or as per the Employment Act.

14. Under the Quarantine Order Allowance (QOA) Scheme, the following two groups may claim $100 per day:

Self-employed Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents issued with Quarantine Orders
Singapore-registered businesses with employees who are Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents or Workpass holders issued with Quarantine Orders
Please refer to this link on the MOH website for full details on the eligibility criteria of the QOA Scheme.
15. Please remind all employees who have returned to Singapore from overseas (regardless of location) to monitor their health closely, and see a doctor promptly if they are unwell and inform their doctor of their travel history. If they have a fever or respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, runny nose, fever, sore throat, breathlessness), they should wear a mask and call the clinic ahead of the visit.

 

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Turbocharged

Singapore says there's no need to wear a mask if you are healthy.

But China is ordering everyone, including those who are healthy, to wear a mask.

So who is correct?

Screenshot_20200204-021705~2.png

Screenshot_20200204-021025~2.png

 

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Hypersonic
5 hours ago, Vinceng said:

Singapore says there's no need to wear a mask if you are healthy.

But China is ordering everyone, including those who are healthy, to wear a mask.

So who is correct?

Different situations warrant a different precautionary approach. 

In China where local infection / virus spreading within communities is evident, wearing a face mask in the public will reduce the risk of getting infected as airborne droplets intensity might be much higher. 

Whereas in Singapore where we have yet to have any reported case of local infection, the correct approach is to get those unwell to Don a face mask, to prevent them from spreading their virus (Coronavirus or not) to others. And by doing that, we can reduce the consumption of face mask as this the stock can be put to better use by front line personnel and others in need.

I hope that helps to clear your doubt.

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Hypersonic

MOE -  FAQs for 2019 Novel Coronavirus Infection in Singapore

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared a public health emergency of international concern over the novel coronavirus (nCoV). Should we review the precautionary measures that are in place in our schools?

We review the measures all the time. As of now, there is no evidence of community transmission in Singapore, and no need to change our measures. But we all can and should do our part better in protecting ourselves by adopting good hygiene habits and practising social responsibility by seeking medical attention if we are unwell.

What MOE is doing is not 100% foolproof. What more can we do to protect our students?

No measure is 100% foolproof, but we will take the necessary precautions to contain and manage the risks, while enabling life to go on.

There are two key threats we face in such an outbreak situation.

First is the virus itself. We have various measures based on medical evidence that are targeted at limiting its spread.

Second which is more insidious, is fear. It prevents us from doing the things we love to do and have to do. It deprives us of our lives, and will make us absolutely miserable.

In tackling fear, we must as a society be resilient. We should not let fear of the virus get the better of us and prevent us from going about our daily lives. We should stay vigilant and calm, cooperate as a society, do our part and be socially responsible, so that we can contain the threat, while allowing life to go on as normally as possible.

Why are schools still having assembly, CCAs, and other school events such as Learning Journeys and the National School Games?

There is yet to be evidence of community spread of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) in Singapore. With the precautions we are taking such as temperature taking and Leave of Absence (LOA), health experts have advised that schools can continue to have mass sessions like assembly. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and take the necessary measures if the situation calls for it.

Why not delay the opening of schools for 7 or 14 days, like what Hong Kong did?


We had considered this, took advice from medical experts, and concluded that it is not necessary to do so, because there is currently no evidence of community spread of the virus in Singapore.

Ours is a different situation compared to Hong Kong's. Hong Kong is closer to the epicentre of the novel coronavirus (nCoV) outbreak and is closely connected to Mainland China. The number of students and staff returning from Mainland China are likely to be many times ours.

We assessed that the number of students and staff returning from China recently is manageable, and a 14-day Leave of Absence (LOA) will be more targeted, while allowing schools to open and life carry on as normally as possible, which is an important aspect to safeguard in an emergency situation.

I understand that primary school and MOE Kindergarten students who are close contacts of Persons Under Quarantine (PUQ) also need to observe a Leave of Absence (LOA). Why is this necessary?

The Home Quarantine Order (HQO) is issued to healthy persons who have recently returned from Hubei, and for those in close contact with a confirmed case.

There may be young children living in the same household, and being young, they may be not be so aware of the precautions they need to take to protect themselves when staying with someone on HQO.

So we have decided to take the step of issuing LOA to these young children as an additional precautionary measure. This will give their fellow students and parents added assurance.

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Twincharged

IMO

the key word is community spread

if we have it, the masks will be useful. Obviously in an ideal situation, we can wear masks all the time everyday and everywhere to prevent spread of all kinds of droplet or airborne bugs even when there’s no virus. 

But right now we are burning through our masks due to sheer kiasu-ness. Eg even in a hospital we can use 200000 masks a day! 

Resource management is vital and keyboard warriors love such times to voice out  

If any good comes out of these epidemics, it’s the reminder to keep clean and hygienic all the time and be civic conscious.

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6th Gear
5 hours ago, Blueray said:

 

Good summary. Really a very cunning virus. Highly efficient in spreading. Does not always induce symptoms immediately. May spread during incubation.

 

 

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Hypersonic

Coronavirus: Can touching a doorknob lead to infection? Experts weigh in on this and other questions

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The coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, has affected more than 20,000 people in China and killed at least 425 people. In Singapore, there is now local transmission, as four of the six new cases announced on Tuesday (Feb 4) did not travel to China. In total, there are now 24 confirmed cases in Singapore, and the Government has warned that there could be broader community spread.

Senior health correspondent Joyce Teo asked two infectious disease experts for their take on the latest developments in this outbreak. They are Professor Wang Lin Fa, the director of the emerging infectious disease programme at Duke-NUS Medical School, and Associate Professor Hsu Li Yang, the programme head (infectious diseases) at the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.

1. CAN YOU BE INFECTED WITH THE CORONAVIRUS JUST BY TOUCHING A DOORKNOB?
A recent report said that the coronavirus has been found on a doorknob in the house of an infected person.

Experts have said this virus is transmitted mostly via droplets, and there can be contact transmission when these droplets land on a surface and one then picks up the infection from touching the surface. Prof Wang said that he personally thinks the risk of contact transmission is higher than that of direct droplet transmission.

"You have to be very unlucky to get it from the droplets in the air; it means that the person coughed directly at your face, or very near you, or if an infected person coughed in the lift about 30 seconds before you went in," he said.

The risk of infection in Singapore is considered very low but for ordinary people who want to protect themselves, the first thing they can do is to avoid crowded places.

"And if you really have to go out, the lifts and the public toilets, these are the places where I would be very, very careful about touching any surfaces to not risk a coronavirus infection," said Prof Wang.

If someone used the lift 30 seconds or a minute before you, there's a "low chance" of you getting an infection from breathing in the air but a much higher chance of getting it from contact, that is, from touching the lift buttons.

"Everybody's wearing a mask but they are not doing anything to protect their hands," he said. "The lift is the most dangerous place because it is an enclosed space, and everybody has to touch the button to go up or down, or to close the door."

One tip he's learnt from social media is to use a pen to press the lift buttons. Get one with a cap and remove the ink cartridge before using it. After using it, cap it and put it in your bag.

Cars are also enclosed spaces. Prof Wang said that people can use a hand sanitiser after getting in and out of a car or cab. Drivers can air the vehicle after dropping a passenger off.

"If a previous passenger is infected and let's say, he coughed in the car five minutes ago, and you then open the windows for two to three minutes, you should get enough circulation to clear the air because the droplets cannot stay in the air for so long if it's a fully ventilated environment."

2. IS FAECAL TRANSMISSION POSSIBLE?
Recent reports have discussed this. Prof Wang said this is possible and said that during the Sars outbreak in Hong Kong in 2003, more than 300 people at an apartment complex called Amoy Gardens reportedly caught the disease through the sewage system. It was reported then that the moist conditions in the bathrooms in Amoy Gardens had allowed water droplets containing the virus to form. Bathroom extractor fans then sucked the virus into the flats, spreading it. Singapore has a different sewage system.

At the complex, Sars was also apparently spread through person-to-person contact and in common areas, such as lifts, lobbies and staircases.

3. CAN YOUNGER PEOPLE BE EASILY INFECTED?
There have been confirmed cases of people in their 30s and 40s; the first person to die from the coronavirus in Hong Kong is a 39-year-old who had travelled to Wuhan. He had an underlying illness.

Prof Wang said some 80 per cent to 90 per cent of the severe or fatal cases are either the elderly or those with underlying medical conditions.

What these people - the elderly and those with serious underlying medical conditions - can do is to avoid crowded places and stay at home as much as possible, he said.

Prof Wang, who is 59, said he has been on a self-imposed home quarantine after returning from Wuhan in mid-January.

4. IS THIS LIKELY GOING TO BE A PANDEMIC?
Experts have been quoted in media reports saying that the coronavirus outbreak looks increasingly like a pandemic. A pandemic is when a disease is prevalent in a whole country or the world.

"We do not know for sure yet. The 2019-nCoV is much harder to contain compared with Sars, but China has instituted outbreak control measures on a scale that has dwarfed all other efforts in the past," said Prof Hsu, using the scientific name for the coronavirus.

"Even if the epidemic is eventually brought under control, it is likely that this will take a far longer period than Sars (which was nine months). If we have a commercially available and effective vaccine in over a year, that will be most helpful."

5. WILL THIS CORONAVIRUS GROW WEAKER AS THE WEATHER GROWS HOTTER?
There is talk that the virus spreads more easily in cold weather.

Prof Hsu said that cold, dry air does result in better spread of the flu virus and human coronaviruses, which is why the influenza season typically coincides with winter every year.

"We do not know enough about the new virus to be sure, but it is plausible that the same is true," he said.

Nevertheless, he added: "Singapore is in the tropics and does not have winter, and we also have influenza all year round."

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