I would like to write a few words about how are we dealing with the COVID-19 virus in Singapore. In my last post (HERE), I mentioned that the celebration of the Chinese New Year 2020 was overshadowed by spreading the Wuhan virus in Singapore. When I started to write that article, we had seven confirmed cases. When I finished the post, it was already ten cases of people with the novel coronavirus. This morning (16.3.2020), we have 226 cases.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19 virus) started in the city of Wuhan in China. The first case was confirmed on December 1st, 2019. (Source). Then the virus began to spread quickly through the city, then through the country and later across the borders.
How it started in Singapore
On Thursday, January 23rd, Singapore confirmed the first case of the COVID-19 virus. The first patient was the 66-old man from Wuhan, the tourist who entered Singapore January 20th. (Source).
Today, we have confirmed 16 cases. Fifteen patients are Chinese nationals, and one is Singaporean. It means that today we have the first Singaporean case confirmed. The 47-old woman is one of 92 Singaporean evacuated from Wuhan, China, on January 30rd. (Source).
Precautionary measures – schools
We are quite concerned about how the spreading of the virus will be continuing. I can see that the thread is not taking lightly. MOE (Ministry of Education) ordered 15-day mandatory leave for students and teachers who were in China during CNY. Children measure the temperature every day at school. I work as a volunteer at school. Before I was allowed to enter the building, the guard measured my temperature and asked if I visited China in the last two weeks or if somebody from China visited us in Singapore. Children got instructions about a higher level of hygiene these days.
Precautionary measures – airport
All travelers on all flights arriving at Changi will are temperature screened from January 29th.
Precautionary measures – travel restrictions
In an effort to minimise the risk of community spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, new visitors of any nationality with recent travel history to mainland China will not be allowed to enter Singapore,Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said on Friday (Jan 31). (Source)
How is a virus spreading
Scientists are still doing research, but most likely, the spreading is similar to other coronaviruses. It means that the virus is spreading via cough and sneeze droplets. There are indications (not confirmed yet) that the transfer of the virus can be even before the first symptoms occur.
What we can do
Wash our hands. There is a high demand for antibacterial soaps. Last weekend, I took the final few pieces from the shelf. I bought some antibacterial tissues as well to have something handy when the soap and water are not nearby.
Avoid the crowd. This is not as easy as in Singapore; the crowd is pretty much everywhere. We need to do grocery shopping; my son is going every day to school, and hubby is traveling every day to his office with MRT. At least we are avoiding tourist places.
Wear the mask when feeling unwell. We should wear a mask when we start feeling ill, and we need to visit a doctor. We are pretty scared here; I’m not going to lie. I would wear the mask everywhere I could; even when I know that the mask is not 100 % protection. Tiny droplets can get through, and the mask is not covering the eyes. The problem is that the surgical masks and N95 masks are sold out. So I can’t wear it even if I want to. The government is going to distribute the mask through community centers and residents’ committee centers. There should be four masks for every household in Singapore available. We should receive ours on February 7th. (Source).
What to do now
So far, the patients with the COVID-19 virus were coming from the Wuhan city – like tourists or they were visiting during CNY. The incubation period is 10 – 14 days. Now we are waiting if and how widely the virus will be spreading in Singapore. Time is ticking.
Update (1.2.2020 – 10.30 pm)
I was about to hit the publish button, but I was checking if the numbers of case of COVID-19 virus cased in Singapore didn’t change as I started to write the post in the morning and now is 10 pm. Unfortunately, in the meantime, we have two more cases. The total number of patients with the Wuhan virus is currently 18. (Source).
Like I was mentioning above, we were waiting how the outbreak of the novel corona virus will be after 10-14 days incubation period from the first person tested in Singapore. The period is over and we have now 33 confirmed cases – 11 cases are localy transmitted. The goverment changed the DORSCON (Disease Outbreak Response System Condition) to the level ORANGE. (Source)