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2 COVID-19 imported cases were tested “preliminary positive” of the Omicron variant in Singapore on 2 December, Thursday. Here's the quick break down.


What do we know about the Omicron variant?

As yet there is no firm evidence that the Omicron variant is more dangerous than previous variants like the Delta variant. There is some evidence that the variant can be more infectious but experts are unsure whether it is more transmissible or capable of causing more serious illness. According to the World Health’s Organisation’s lead person on COVID-19, Maria van Kerkhove said on 1 December 2021, that they are expecting to have more data on the Omicron variant in the next few days.


Will my PCR test be able to detect the variant?

The current machines used by labs like Parkway laboratories who are linked with our clinics, have confirmed they are able to detect this variant.


How has it affected international travel and the VTL?

Some countries, like Israel, Japan and Morocco have barred the entry of foreign travelers in response to the new variant.


For travellers entering Singapore


Singapore will enhance its COVID-19 testing for travellers entering Singapore to reduce risk and better detect the Omicron variant. From 2 December, 2359 hours, all travellers on the Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL-Air) will undergo additional self-administered Antigen Rapid Test (ART) at a Quick Test Centre (QTC) on Days 3 and 7 of their arrival. Here are the locations of the QTCs. https://www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19/quick-test-centres-(qtcs)


QTCs provide self-paid ART where the test will be self-administered and supervised by an approved COVID-19 test provider. Our clinics are NOT a QTC.


Travelling from Singapore


Before travelling, please check the entry requirements imposed by the VTL country you are travelling to. Different protocols and policies vary from country to country. Please check with the local authorities for your entry requirements imposed by the respective VTL countries. This may change as the COVID-19 situation evolves and as authorities learn more about the Omicron variant.


Our clinics offer the PCR tests that are necessary for your travel.





Prices (Nov 2021)


Routine COVID-19 RT-PCR Swab Test: $125 NETT* (Results out by following day midnight if taken before 9pm)

Express COVID-19 RT-PCR Swab Test: $321 NETT* (Turnover 6 -8 hours from time it reaches the lab)

VENOUS BLOOD SEROLOGY IgM ANTIBODY/ IgM + IgG Antibody against N PROTEIN: $55 NETT*

ANTIGEN RAPID TESTING: $26.50 NETT*


*Prices are inclusive of GST with no additional consultation charges

*$10 Surcharges apply for paediatric swabs/ blood taking as well as very urgent requests. *Turnover time refers to the time from when the sample reaches the lab and not the time when sample was taken






Due to high call volumes during this period, we may not be able to attend to your queries via whatsapp or calls in time. Please use our website to secure your appointment or approach us at our clinics' counters if you require any assistance.



Source:

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/world/omicron-variant-half-all-covid-19-infections-europe-ecdc-2354226

https://www.nytimes.com/article/omicron-coronavirus-variant.html

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/singapore-2-imported-covid-cases-omicron-variant-south-africa-112342268.html






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With the loosening of safe management restrictions as well as the new vaccinated travel lanes, respiratory infections like influenza are likely to return.


Here are some reasons why it is important to get yourself vaccinated from the flu.



1. It's difficult to differentiate the flu from COVID-19 and both could be just as deadly


Both COVID-19 and influenza (i.e. the "flu") share many similarities. Both are contagious as it could be spread through close contact to an infected person or transmitted into the air through droplets. The viruses also can be spread through touching contaminated surfaces as well. Moreover, COVID-19 and the flu share similar symptoms that affect the respiratory tract.


A small percentage of COVID-19 patients also develop other viral infections, with the most common being influenza. Both can be dangerous and life-threatening when complications develop.


2. Spike in flu cases are predicted


Infectious disease experts are predicting that the flu virus will make a resurgence when travel resumes with the vaccinated travel lanes, as the flu virus can be brought into Singapore when travellers travel to and from countries in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. In Singapore, the flu season coincides with the winter season in these countries. Hence it is a good time to get your flu vaccine now as the flu season in Singapore is usually December to February, and from May to July.


3. Bringing influenza back may be risky for vulnerable groups



If you are travelling to places where mask wearing and safe distancing is not being enforced, you are at risk in contracting the flu virus and bringing the virus back to vulnerable groups of people.


These individuals are

  • People 65 years old and above

  • People with low immunity

  • Children 5 years and younger

The risk of severe illness or even death is higher for individuals in these vulnerable groups. It is highly recommended for these individuals to get vaccinated

  • People 65 years and above

  • If you are younger than 65 years old, the flu vaccine is recommended for those with low immunity, chronic health issues or diseases.

  • Children aged 5 years and below

  • Women in second and third trimester of pregnancy


Book an appointment with us if you would like to get your flu vaccine


INTEMEDICAL KOVAN

INTEMEDICAL POTONG PASIR





Sources:

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/covid-19-flu-vaccine-influenza-deaths-cases-international-travel-2307306

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/easing-of-covid-19-travel-restrictions-in-spore-could-lead-to-uptick-in-flu-cases-doctors

https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/103/topics_influenza






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Updated: Nov 20


According to a team of researchers from Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, Singaporeans would be much healthier just by lowering 4-gram less of salt per day.


This would help in the prevention of stroke and heart attack.


The leading cause of death in Singapore is cardiovascular disease (CVD). According to Singapore Heart Foundation (SHF), in 2020, 19 people die from heart disease and stroke every day.


High sodium intake is one of the causes for hypertension. It contributes to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and heart failure among those with high BMI.


The recommended daily sodium intake is 2000mg per day, this is equivalent to 5g or ¾ teaspoon of salt. Numbers released by the Ministry of Health estimate that Singaporeans consume close to 9g of salt in a day, almost twice the recommended daily intake. To achieve a healthier heart and body, one should adopt a low-sodium lifestyle. The Singapore Heart Foundation (SHF) website offers many tips and recipes on how one can keep track of their sodium consumption and cook healthier meals.


Ways to reduce salt intake