Recently, the Singapore Ministry of Health raised the novel coronavirus outbreak alert to orange. This announcement has triggered a country-wide caution as Singaporeans become more attentive towards health and safety measures. Organisations have activated their Business Continuity Plans (BCP) with many staff alternately working from home. Health screenings at entrances of buildings are now a common practice.

In the midst of the health alert, people are stricken by panic resulting in stock hoarding of medical supplies and grocery items. While it’s a normal psychological response to survival, it may not be the best way to deal with an outbreak.

As we brace ourselves to face this new virus threat, we can take steps to keep ourselves healthy and minimise the risk of contracting this virus.

Wash Your Hands Thoroughly

Child is washing hands under running water and soap to stay clean and healthy

According to Dr. Kalisvar Marimuthu, senior infectious disease consultant at the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), the best way to clean your hands is by washing it with water and soap.

However, you need to follow the correct steps to wash your hands in order to be effective. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), you can time your washing accordingly by singing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

When water and soap aren’t readily available, hand sanitizers are a good alternative. However, the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using hand sanitisers that contain at least 60% alcohol. There are also steps to follow when using sanitisers. The amount required should be sufficient to drench your hands and take 20 seconds to dry.

Wear a Mask and Stay Healthy

There has been a global shortage of masks everywhere. Before you go on a rampage to stock up on masks, it is useful to educate yourself on the various types of masks, their effectiveness and how to wear them correctly.

The reason why you should wear a mask is to prevent yourself from spreading your germs to others and also to protect yourself from contracting external germs. However, it is not 100% fool-proof. Another reason for wearing a mask is to prevent you from accidentally touching your face.

Keep Your Home Clean

Young mother carrying a baby and cleaning the kitchen countertop

As more and more people are encouraged to stay home, it is important to ensure your home is disinfected and clean especially when you have young children and the elderly at home.

Simple tasks like discarding trash responsibly to rid of pests and germs, and cleaning your home surfaces regularly can help minimise the risk of your family members from falling sick.

Did you know there are hygienic countertops that are available in the market? Aurastone’s quartz countertops are NFS certified. An NFS certified product is an assurance that it meets strict standards for public health protection.

Avoid Close Contact with Sick People

The fastest way to expose yourself to the virus is being in close proximity to sick people. If you have to constantly be around sick people (professionals in the medical field or caregivers for family members who are sick), the necessary precautions need to be taken such as wearing a mask and sanitising your hands.

Similarly, if you’re unwell, you should see a doctor, practise self-quarantine and wear a proper mask to prevent infecting other people.

Reduce Non-Essential Travel Activity

Traveling tourists taking the train

Traveling involves mingling with people in public. An infected person may unknowingly transmit the virus to random people within the surroundings. That’s how the virus spreads like wildfire because traveling is so much more affordable and convenient today.

Hence, reducing non-essential travel activity will greatly minimise your exposure to crowds in public.

If you can help it, postpone your holidays, even if that means losing your deposit and booking fees. Should you need to travel for work meetings, it’s time to benefit from the many virtual conference platforms available for free.

Boost Your Immunity

Fitness young woman staying healthy eating a salad after exercise

Besides taking safety precautions, don’t forget to boost your immune system with a healthy diet and get enough sleep. Also, adding vitamin supplements during this time can help increase your immunity.

A strong immune system will help you fight illnesses and speed up your recovery process.

Keep Calm and Stay Healthy During an Outbreak

During an outbreak, it’s a good idea to spend more time at home and enjoy the company of your loved ones. As long as you practise good self-hygiene and do your part to keep your home and surroundings clean, you’re on your way to minimise the risk of contracting the virus.

Stay safe and protected always because health is wealth.

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