Phase 2 (heightened alert) has brought some lockdown restrictions in Singapore after a spike in the number of Covid-19 cases. As it turns out, the new B1617 strain of the coronavirus spreads faster and is more contagious, affecting children as well as adults. Even transient exposure could result in an infection.
Citizens need to be even more cautious when stepping outdoors, while the airborne nature of the virus does leave a lot of people vulnerable. This can raise a number of questions when it comes to sharing unavoidable public spaces such as elevators or an unknown person handling your food delivery.
Coronavirus Spread In Singapore: FAQs For Parents
What seemed still doable during the lockdown, now needs to undergo scrutiny. Keeping the coronavirus spread rate in mind, we answer some of your questions about the potential risk of infection
1. Can I Get Infected If I Share An Elevator With Somebody?
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There is a higher chance of infection if you choose to be in close proximity to someone infected. An elevator is a closed environment and people tend to touch buttons that can potentially spread the virus.
Even if you don’t know whether the other person is infected or not, there is a high chance that droplets from the infected person may settle on different surfaces within the elevator. Considering that there is no source of natural heat, light or air in the lift, the chances of the virus thriving on the surface for a long time are high.
The best way to circumvent this issue is by following government guidelines. Always wear a mask when stepping out of the house. Invest in high-quality face masks that offer high filtration efficiency.
You can also wear gloves and avoid touching the surface altogether. Even then, it’s always advisable to use a sanitiser frequently when stepping out of the house.
2. Can Coronavirus Spread Via Door Handles Or Staircase Railings?
There is an increased chance of the Covid-19 virus spreading through these places, but only if you immediately come in contact with it.
The hot and humid climate of Singapore makes it difficult for the virus to survive for long in such open spaces.
At the same time, do not take it casually either and always mask up, wash your hands or use a sanitiser whenever you come in contact with an unknown surface.
3. Can A Delivery Person Infect Your Food?
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Most delivery partners need to follow a protocol before picking up and handing over the food to you. This includes wearing gloves, a face mask, and have their temperature checked regularly.
Restaurants need to check the temperature as well to minimise the spread of the virus.
The risk then is low that the virus will spread through the food delivery person. At the same time, we advise avoiding touching the containers directly after delivery. You could do a wipe down with a tissue and some sanitiser to be cautious.
4. Can I Get Covid-19 From People Who Prepare The Food?
The virus usually does not survive in extreme heat. So, if the food has been prepared well at the right temperature, the chances of the virus surviving are extremely low.
Food vendors should also ensure that fewer people interact in the kitchen to avoid the coronavirus spread altogether.
5. Can I Get Infected From My Cab Driver?
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A car is an enclosed environment much like an elevator, which does risk the spread of the virus. While drivers need to sanitise the vehicle after every trip, there can still be lapses.
If you do need to take a cab, do remember to mask up and minimise conversation. This prevents water droplets to form, which increases the risk of infection.
Cab drivers though are now installing clear screens between the front and rear seats of the car to minimise the spread.
6. Will I Get Infected If Someone Carrying The Virus Runs Past Me?
It is unlikely that a runner carrying the virus will infect you by running past you, especially if there’s no physical contact. That being said, try running outdoors where the virus has a lesser chance of survival.
In comparison, indoor gyms are a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria. The high-intensity workout sessions also make it risky to wear a mask and continue the exercise.
We would advise avoiding the gym for a few days, at least till the cases come under control. Instead, you can look at setting up a home gym or using the outdoors more judiciously, preferably at a time when there are fewer people around.