Singapore government has stepped in to dispel rumours – doing the rounds on social media platforms and media outlets – about the news of ‘Covid variant in Singapore.’
“Politicians should stick to facts! There is no ‘Singapore variant’,” Singapore foreign minister, Vivian Balakrishnan, said stoically in a social media post on Wednesday.
Both the Indian and Singapore governments have berated the Indian politician for spreading false information which was “not based on facts.”
No Covid Variant In Singapore: MOH
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The government released a statement saying the news of the “Singapore variant” is false.
The Ministry clarified that “There is no new “Singapore” variant of COVID 19. Neither is there evidence of any COVID-19 variant that is ‘extremely dangerous for kids’.”
Talking about the origin of the variant, the statement elaborated, “The strain that is prevalent in many of the COVID-19 cases detected in Singapore in recent weeks is the B.1.617.2 variant, which originated from India. The existence and spread of the B.1.617.2 variant within India predates the detection of the variant in Singapore, and this has been publicly known and reported by various media sources from as early as 5 May 2021.”
Balakrishnan’s ministry issued a statement saying it was “disappointed that a prominent political figure had failed to ascertain the facts before making such claims.”
Here’s what Balakrishnan tweeted:
On Sunday, Singapore cautioned that a new variant was affecting more children. In fact, it ordered schools to shut to contain a recent surge in new cases. Therefore till 28 May, all schools have shifted to online home-based learning.
S’pore Issues POFMA To Facebook, Twitter Over False News
Singapore government has invoked its anti misinformation law, the POFMA or Protection from Online Falsehoods & Manipulation Act a day after an Indian politician tweeted about a so-called ‘Covid variant in Singapore.’
Singapore on Thursday ordered Facebook and Twitter to carry a correction notice for social media users in the country over what it says is a false statement about a new virus variant originating in Singapore.
MOH in a press release said, “Facebook, Twitter and SPH Magazines are required to carry the correction notice to all end-users in Singapore who use Facebook, Twitter and HardwareZone.com.”
After months of reporting nearly zero cases, Singapore has seen a spike in COVID cases in the past few weeks. The total tally shot up to 61,689 as of Wednesday (19 May) amid a surge in unlinked cases on the island.
New COVID Variant Scare
As you know, the B.1617 variant, which was first detected in India, prompted Singapore to ban visitors from India in late April.
The variant has now spread to dozens of countries and is the fourth strain to be declared a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO). That classification means a variant may be more transmissible or cause more severe disease, fail to respond to treatment, evade immune response, or fail to be diagnosed by standard tests.
Parents are extremely scared as more kids are getting affected by the new variant.
Symptoms Of B.1617 Variant You Must Watch Out
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As researchers continue to identify the traits of the new variant, it has so far been found that the symptoms are primarily the same as the regular COVID infection.
This may make it all the more difficult to differentiate. But here are some of the common symptoms which you need to watch out.
Loss of smell, taste
Irritation on the throat or cough
A high temperature of above 38ºC
Ulcers in the mouth
Irritation or itching of the tongue
If you spot any of these symptoms, its advisable to get a COVID test done immediately.
Safety Tips: What You And Your Kids Must Do
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The Singaporean authorities have introduced several strict measures keeping the safety of its citizen in mind. They have been urging people to get vaccinated and stay indoors to avoid intermingling of people. Here are some safety tips which your kids and all the members of the family should also follow.
Stay indoors: Unless necessary, avoid stepping out of your homes. As the government is also encouraging work from home and other measures, remember to not step out of your homes without a reason.
Wear your mask: But, when you do step out of your home, don’t forget to wear your mask. Pay attention to cleaning the masks after use if they are washable. If your kids are hesitant to wear masks, explain how it will help them and those around them.
Wash your hands: Needless to say, but you should teach your kids to wash their hands with soap and water when at least for 20 seconds. Do carry a sanitiser when you are out. Remember to use it every time before you touch your face, mouth or nose.
Follow social distancing: Teach your kids to avoid crowded places and always follow social distancing. Now, that we know that the new variant is airborne ensure proper ventilation at home.
Cleaner indoor air won’t just fight the pandemic, it will minimise the risk of catching flu and other respiratory infections.
Looking at the current rise in community cases in the country, it is normal for you to worry. But, this is not the time to panic and spread fear. Instead, we should all join our hands together to win the battle against coronavirus!
News source: CNN