ART kits, oximeter and everything you need in a Covid-19 survival kit

PHOTO: The Straits Times/Alphonsus Chern

SINGAPORE - To live with Covid-19, everyone needs to exercise personal responsibility, test yourself when necessary, self-isolate if the test is positive and consult a doctor if there are symptoms.

The Straits Times takes you through the toolkit to keep you and your family ready.

How to prepare yourself

1. Thermometer

Have a thermometer on hand to check your temperature if you suspect that you are ill.

 

2. Oximeter

An oximeter displaying numbers representing the blood oxygen level (left) and pulse rate. PHOTO: Temasek Foundation 
  • The device checks the oxygen level in the blood and can help detect early signs of a deterioration in health.
  • Blood oxygen levels between 95 and 100 per cent are considered healthy, while a level between 90 and 94 per cent is deemed low.
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  • Blood oxygen levels below 90 per cent are "dangerously low" and urgent treatment at the Accident and Emergency department is needed.
  • But oximeter readings cannot replace a Covid-19 test. Low blood oxygen levels can be caused by other underlying conditions or complications.
  • The oximeter can be used by placing it around a finger tip and pressing a button to activate the device. A few seconds are needed for the blood oxygen level reading to stabilise.
  • Two numbers will be displayed - the blood oxygen level and pulse rate.

 

3. Antigen rapid test (ART) kits

Have at least two ART self-test kits stocked at home, but do note that different brands have different instructions and requirements. PHOTO: The Straits Times/Alphonsus Chern 
  • Have at least two ART self-test kits stocked up at home.
  • Read the manufacturers' instructions clearly on how to use the kit as the instructions and requirements will vary between brands.

Before you perform the test:

  • Be in a well-ventilated room, away from others.
  • Find a flat surface to place your cartridge. You may need a mirror and a timer to guide you.
  • The surfaces used can be easily cleaned and wiped down, such as the bathroom.

To dispose of the used test kit:

  • Bag all the used items in the test kit into one plastic bag or sealable bag and seal it.
  • Place the sealed bag into another plastic bag.
  • Tie the second bag tightly.
  • Throw it into a rubbish chute or pedal bin immediately.

4. Masks

Ensure that there are sufficient masks at home.

The masks should not just be any cloth mask, but instead one of high filtration capability such as surgical masks or those with a filtration insert.

How to prepare your home

1. Cleaning, disinfection supplies and personal hygiene

Having disinfectant and cleaning supplies will be critical if a member of the household is down with Covid-19 and is recovering at home. PHOTO: The Straits Times/Lim Yaohui 

Each household should be equipped with hand sanitiser, soap, disinfectant wipes and the necessary cleaning tools, such as bleach.

These will be critical if a member of the household is down with Covid-19 and is recovering at home, as frequent cleaning and wiping down of surfaces or the shared toilet will be critical.

Hand sanitiser with 60 per cent to 95 per cent alcohol cleans much better than one with less alcohol or no alcohol in them.

Refrain from sharing common personal items, such as cutlery (use sharing utensils).

2. Have a support system

Having to stay home when infected means not being able to go out to the supermarket to get your usual supplies.

Ensure that there is sufficient food and household supplies to last a few days.

Do also have a backup plan of how you'll get your supplies - such as by having a close family member or friend nearby who can help you get them.

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This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.