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10 Feb 2020  (1595 Views) 
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Ministry of Health


Are we adopting the correct strategy to deal with the spread of coronavirus?
I listened to this video  where health minister Gan KY explaining about the coronavirus. 

I was struck with the following points:

a) The risk of infection during the first 14 days (before the infected person shows symptoms) is actually quite small.

b) The infection rate is much higher when the infected person has symptoms, i.e. cough and sneeze.

If this is the case, it does seem that the current strategy of quarantine and contact tracing is less important than identifying infected persons who are already showing symptoms. 

The question is - how many of these symptomatic persons are being treated now, and how many are in the community - not realizing that they are infected?

If there is a large number of infected persons with symptoms that are not identified, I suggest that our strategy is to identify them and to treat them early.

This is how they can be identified and treated. 

a) Engage 2,500 workers to take temperature of people. Issue s QR coded card to each scanned person with normal temperature. This card will show the time and location of the temperature check.  These workers can be located in MRT stations, bus interchanges, malls, markets where there are large numbers of people. 

b) Each worker can take 200 readings every hour or 1,000 readings on a 5 hour shift. The 2,500 workers can take 2.5 million readings a day. It will cover the population of 5 million people every 2 days. 

c) If the temperature exceed the threshold, the subject is given a card to visit a nearby booth for a more thorough check, free of charge, by a medically trained person. This is to determine if the subject needs to be admitted to a hospital. Treatment in the hospital is also free of charge.

d) The holder needs to show the QR coded card (taken during the previous 48 hours) to enter certain locations, such as malls and MRT stations. It can be read quickly with a QR code scanner. This will make everybody undergo the compulsory temperature scan every 2 days.

I believe that the cost of this operation is lower than the cost of quarantine and contact tracing. It is likely to be more effective in catching the people with symptoms and treating them early.

Tan Kin Lian

Vote - do you like this idea?
 


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