Singapore has witnessed a huge spike in coronavirus cases over the past month. As several children were found infected with the virus, particularly the B.1.167 variant, the authorities have shut all schools as it continues to prepare to vaccinate youngsters.
However, not all schools have had to handle the cases in the same way. While some classmates of the infected cases were asked to quarantine, others were not. Here’s why.
Only Covid Positive Children Quarantined, But Others Went Home. Why?
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As you know, some of the recent Covid-19 student cases, close contacts of the infected students – including those in Yio Chu Kang Primary School, Anglo-Chinese School (Junior) and Victoria Junior College – were placed in quarantine.
The students, staff, and vendors at the schools were also tested.
But these measures were not needed for students of Greendale Secondary School and Peicai Secondary School. According to MOE, this was done because there was no need for contact tracing, as the infected students were well when they were last in school.
For instance, the student who tested positive from Greendale Secondary was last in school on 17 May and was asymptomatic when he tested positive nearly one week later.
Similarly, the infected student from Peicai Secondary, had not been in school for 16 days before developing a cough.
However, this does not mean that should put your guard down. If your child goes to a school where a positive case was traced, you may be asked to quarantine or you may choose to isolate yourself and your family for good measure.
But if you’re confused about how that is to be done, let us take you through the process.
How To Quarantine At Home With Family
Keeping in mind the surge in cases, those asked to quarantine themselves must abide by this rule.
As you are aware, a quarantine order is issued to those who are suspected to be infected or may have come close to an infected person. It is a legal order issued under the Infectious Diseases Act, which can draw severe penalties if not followed.
So here’s what you need to do if you were ordered to quarantine or you wish to do so for the safety of your family:
- You are not supposed to come in social contact with others to avoid the possibility of the spread of the virus.
- You should isolate yourself from others and do not interact with those living in the same premises.
- Don’t leave your designated location for any reason.
- You will be swabbed during the duration of their quarantine (if you were ordered to quarantine).
MOH will decide if a quarantine order should be served at home, in a dedicated Government Quarantine Facility or a hospital, based on the person’s contact history, state of health, and the suitability of the home.
If you have been asked to quarantine at home, don’t fret. Here are some easy steps which can help you.
How To Quarantine At Home With Family: 11 Practical Tips
Wear masks while quarantining yourself at home. Image courtesy: iStock
1. Isolate yourself in a room
Following the quarantine order, you should isolate yourself in a room. It is advisable to stay in a room that also has an attached bathroom. This will minimise the risk of exposing others to the infection in your home.
Also, see to it that the room is well ventilated and gets sunlight.
2. Use disposable utensils
You can use disposable utensils that can be discarded after you have consumed meals. Alternatively, wash the used utensils as soon as possible and don’t forget to clean your bed linen and clothes with soap and water on a regular basis too.
3. Wear a mask, religiously
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Whenever you are stepping out of your room and will be in close contact with your other family members, please wear a mask.
For greater effectiveness, choose face masks that have good filtration capability with 2 to 3 layers of fabric. As a general rule, the material should not be see-through when held against the light.
4. Keep your home clean
You should keep your room clean. Change the bedsheets and mop the floor on a daily basis. Cleaning with a household cleaner that contains soap or detergent reduces the amount of germs on surfaces and decreases the risk of infection from surfaces. In most situations, cleaning alone removes most virus particles on surfaces.
5. Wash your hands
As you are aware, washing hands with soap and water is a preventive measure to keep coronavirus away.
Washing hands can keep you healthy and prevent the spread of respiratory and viral infections from one person to the next. Germs can spread from other people or surfaces when you:
- Touch your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Touch a contaminated surface or objects
- Blow your nose, cough, or sneeze into your hands and then touch others with it.
6. Sleep well
Don’t forget to get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep daily. Several young adults tend to take a good night’s sleep for granted and that can damage your health in the long run without you even realising it. As you age, your body’s resistance towards and productivity can go down further.
So avoid that by shutting off your electronic devices, dimming the light and maintaining a healthy diet to maximise those resting hours.
7. Monitor your vitals
You should also monitor your temperature and report your health status at least three times a day. Make sure to also inform your doctor if you feel unwell or need any assistance.
Should your family members display symptoms associated with the virus, they will need to be taken to a hospital and treated as suspect cases.
8. Practice light breathing exercises
In order to keep your mind calm and free yourself from stress, practice some light breathing exercises. If you are tired, then don’t exert yourself with strenuous exercises. Yoga and meditation are perfect companions for those who are placed under quarantine or are staying indoors for a long period of time.
9. Eat healthy food
Focus on healthy eating and include lots of fruits, fresh vegetables and proteins to boost your strength and immunity. Good nutrition is crucial for health, particularly in times when the immune system might need to fight back.
Since you will have limited resources, it is beneficial to plan them in advance. Although home-cooked meals should be prioritised and it is the best option, but if your health doesn’t permit, order food via the food delivery apps.
10. Taking care of kids
You’ll need to be extra cautious during this period and around young children. Wear masks and try to keep a distance from them. But, if your babies demand attention or are breastfed, then you continue to feed them.
It is best to take a bath or at least wipe your breasts with a clean cloth before your baby has their feed. Also, wash your hands and wear masks while breastfeeding.
11. How to quarantine at home with family in case of emergencies
Remember, under quarantine, you must not leave your designated location for any reason. If you require assistance for daily needs beyond what is provided under the home quarantine package, then you can get in touch with your friends and relatives.
However, if you urgently need to leave your home for matters needing personal attention which cannot be postponed, you need to seek the permission of the QO Agent.
Spot checks will be carried out to ensure that you strictly adhere to the conditions under the QO during the period specified. If you are found to be non-compliant, the Director of Medical Services may require you to wear an electronic tag or order that they be detained and separated in a hospital or in any other suitable place. It is an offence if you do not comply with the quarantine order conditions.
Don’t take any symptoms lightly or even hide them. You need to stay alert and monitor your health closely. If you have fever, cough or runny nose, wear a mask and seek medical attention promptly. Stay safe and remain positive!
News source: WHO, The Straits Times, Singapore Govt
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