Singapore is facing the start of a new wave of Covid-19 infections, as seen in recent news headlines. The peak is expected to come around in July or August, but it might happen faster than we think with clinics reporting a rise in acute respiratory illnesses (ARI) in May and June. With around 9,000 cases each day this week, rising sharply from the average 1,000 last month, it’s best for us to be vigilant about sanitization again rather than banking on vaccinations alone.
The new wave of easily transmissible Omicron variants (BA.4 and BA.5) are expected to infect vaccinated and previously infected individuals, possibly causing more severe symptoms in the latter group. Studies have shown that a SARS-CoV-2 reinfection, regardless of a person's vaccination status, increased the risk of all-cause mortality and hospitalization compared to the first infection. Local doctors are also anecdotally reporting treating complications in “increasing severity” over the past few days.
Omicron cases report symptoms of persistent headaches (including migraines), high temperature fever (over 37.5°) or shivering chills, muscle aches, sore throat, a runny or blocked nose, fatigue, and continuous coughs (with or without phlegm). Patients are less likely to lose their sense of smell and taste with the new variant infection.
Omicron Survives Longer on Surfaces
According to the World Health Organization, COVID is transmitted mainly through close personal contact via aerosols in poorly ventilated or crowded spaces, but WHO also acknowledges people can become infected by touching their eyes, nose or mouth after coming into contact with contaminated objects or surfaces.
New Japanese research – published online and not yet reviewed by expert peers – examines how long the SARS-CoV-2 virus survives on skin and plastic. It investigates differences in survivability between the original Wuhan strain of the virus and subsequent variants – Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Omicron. The study claims to be the first to include Omicron in such side-by-side comparisons.
The researchers report SARS-COV-2 variants are able to survive on skin and plastic more than twice as long as the original Wuhan strain. Of particular interest, the Omicron variant was found to survive on plastic for 193.5 hours and on skin for 21.1 hours. What’s inferred is that this longer survival on these surfaces contributes to Omicron’s increased infectivity, because there’s more likelihood of picking up viable virus from surfaces.
Self-Disinfecting Surface for an Added Layer of Protection Against Covid-19
It's hard to avoid contaminated surfaces outside, but keeping the high touch areas in your home clean is a must. Instead of stressing over disinfection rosters and expensive recurring service fees, try HomeGuard365 anti-Covid self-disinfecting coating. Once applied onto any surface, it kills 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, mold and fungi upon contact for all 365 days a year.
If you have an infected family member isolating at home in a room, you won't have to worry about missing certain spots in the cabinet because the virus will be inactivated immediately.
Besides being up-to-date with vaccination, masking up, washing your hands, and social distancing, self-disinfecting surfaces are your best bet against bringing the virus home. It significantly reduces the chances of you getting sick not only from Covid, but from other illnesses spread through fomite transmission such as HFMD (hand, foot, mouth disease), conjunctivitis, gastroenteritis and more.
For infants and young children that are unvaccinated, the risk of contracting Covid comes with a higher mortality rate as evidenced by the recent passing of an 18-month old baby. Our BabyGuard365 can come in handy in preparation for the next wave to protect your little one's car seats and strollers from harbouring the virus and other germs.
The effectiveness of self-disinfecting coating also lasts longer than disinfection services.
It's Better to be Safe than Sorry
Our vaccines and boosters work, but the virus is mutating and growing at a faster pace than our collective research and development, trials, and logistics. When there are immunocompromised and old-aged family members at home, no chances can be taken, especially if more severe symptoms are reported in young individuals with no comorbidities. Stay vigilant and stay safe!