What is Coronavirus (COVID -19)?

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can be transmitted from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a new type of coronavirus that can infect both humans and animals at the same time. Mild cases are like a common cold, and severe cases will develop into pneumonia.

The current coronavirus epidemic has not slowed down. Globally confirmed cases and death data continue to increase. With the progress of the epidemic, person to person has become the main transmission.

Watch for symptoms

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell

How COVID-19 Spreads?

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person who are in close contact with one another (within 2-3 meters). Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

How to Protect Yourself?

People can protect themselves from respiratory diseases through daily preventive measures.

  • Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
  • Observe good personal hygiene. Wear a mask if experiencing respiratory symptoms such as a cough or runny nose. Seek medical attention promptly if feeling unwell.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Update of Suspect Case Management

  • With the activation of the Public Health Preparedness Clinics (PHPCs), TCM practitioners should refer all patients with acute respiratory symptoms, irrespective of travel history, to the nearest PHPC. This will allow the PHPC doctors to assess whether pneumonia is present or whether the case fulfils the suspect case definition, and if so, make an early referral to the hospital to exclude COVID-19 infection. You can search for your nearest PHPC at www.phpc.gov.sg.
  • If the patient is medically unstable (i.e. hypotensive or breathless), please call the SCDF (995) ambulance and inform the ambulance operator if the patient fits the suspect case definition.
  • MOH will continue to monitor the global situation closely and propose additional measures as proportionate to risk. You can go to www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19 to get the latest consultation guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health

Update of Suspect Case Definition

In view of the above, we have expanded the suspect case criteria to the following:

a) A person with clinical signs and symptoms suggestive of pneumonia or severe respiratory infection with breathlessness.

b) A person with an acute respiratory illness of any degree of severity.