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10
Jun
2021

Singapore-UK Team to develop a novel device to reduce chemotherapy side-effects

National University Health System

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8
Jun
2021

Infectious disease expert David Lye calls out misinformation about vaccines

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Straits Times noted that infectious disease expert Prof David Lye from NCID had cited the local study at a dormitory, involving Prof Paul Tambyah, Senior Consultant, NUH Division of Infectious Diseases, which found ivermectin to be not effective in preventing COVID-19. Prof Lye dismisses calls by some doctors and anti-vaccine groups to use ivermectin, which is used to treat parasites, instead of vaccination. 

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4
Jun
2021

Self-isolation for household members of COVID-19 close contacts a 'necessary' interim measure, say experts

Channel NewsAsia

Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, NUH Division of Infectious Diseases, who noted that with the new highly transmissible B16172 strain, the new strategy of getting entire households to self-isolate when a member has been identified as a close contact of a case would help the authorities get ahead of the virus transmissions. There are currently many linked cases that are not isolated at the time of diagnosis. Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, agreed, noting that “network ringfencing becomes more necessary now than previously” with new variants that are more transmissible. He added that while this approach will help in the short-term, it is unlikely to be the long-term strategy that Singapore will adopt.  

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3
Jun
2021

Pakar: Covid-19 tidak boleh dijangkiti melalui sistem air sisa (Experts: Covid-19 cannot be transmitted through wastewater system)

Berita Harian © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, NUH Division of Infectious Diseases, said that infected residents may have transmitted COVID-19 to their neighbours in the other blocks through other means, such as contaminated surfaces. Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, opined it is too early to speculate how the COVID-19 fragments could have been present if there are truly no infected cases in these blocks.

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2
Jun
2021

Highly unlikely virus spread through sewage system, say experts

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

The Straits Times quoted Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, NUH Division of Infectious Diseases, who said that the infected residents may have transmitted COVID-19 to their neighbours in the other blocks through other means, such as contaminated surfaces. Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, opined it could be that there are people who are asymptomatically infected in these blocks, and the possibility of false detection should not be ruled out as well. It is otherwise too early to speculate how the COVID-19 fragments could have been detected if there are truly no infected cases in these blocks.
 
In a related Lianhe Wanbao report, it was mentioned a study conducted by the National Environment Agency, Ministry of Health and researchers from Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health have found that monitoring sewage water from HDB flats can detect COVID-19 infection.

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1
Jun
2021

PM Lee outlines S’pore’s adjusted strategy to keep Covid-19 under control

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of SSHSPH, discussed Singapore’s plan to ramp up COVID-19 testing, have faster contact tracing and quicker vaccination roll-out to keep the COVID-19 situation under control. He added that the ability to test widely is key to detecting any hidden infections in the community and that the restrictions that Singapore has put in place have worked to prevent community spread from spiralling out of control.
 
The New Paper quoted A/Prof Alex Cook, Vice Dean of Research, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, who said that mass testing can, in principle, help identify cryptic cases in the community whom we would not find otherwise. It is vital to isolate cases to prevent spread, and widespread testing is one of the best ways to target isolation most accurately.
 
In a related Australian Financial Review report, Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, NUH Division of Infectious Diseases, noted that vaccines have turned the tide in recent weeks by both reducing infections and keeping serious illness at bay. He said there was no doubt COVID-19 would become endemic, a disease we learn to live with, and vaccination will help us “move to endemicity without real harm”. 

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31
May
2021

Experts warn B1617 is turning more dominant worldwide

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), said that the speed at which the B1617 variant of the Sars-Cov-2 virus is able to spread and circulate widely within the community is frightening, often surpassing the capability of contacting units to track and isolate exposed contacts to break the transmission chains. He added that the best weapon remains widespread vaccination, and that with over 3,000 mutations and counting, more virulent strains might emerge in countries where pandemic control is lacking. 

The Straits Times also quoted Dr Soumya Swaminathan, World Health Organisation (WHO) Chief Scientist, who spoke at the COVID-19 Updates from Singapore webinar hosted by NUS Medicine. She said that B1617 is 1.5 to two times more transmissible than the strains that first appeared in Wuhan 18 months ago.

Lianhe Wanbao also cited A/Prof David Allen, Senior Consultant at the NUH Division of Infectious Diseases, who highlighted that the vaccine helps to reduce the severity of the disease in infected cases and that there seems to be more children being infected locally, which may be because there are more adults who have been vaccinated.

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31
May
2021

New measure will help against virus, but some have concerns

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

The Straits Times cited Prof Paul Tambyah, Deputy Director of Infectious Diseases Translational Research Programme, NUS Medicine, who said that it was logical to extend the requirement of mandatory pre-departure testing to Singaporeans and Permanent Residents who are returning from lower-risk places as the risk classifications can change rapidly. Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), said that implementing the new measure may be more challenging than expected as not every jurisdiction will have commercial polymerase chain reaction testing capacity that is accredited and trustworthy. 

Lianhe Zaobao, Wanbao and Shin Min Daily also cited Prof Teo, Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases, NUH, Dr Louisa Sun, Associate Consultant, Infectious Diseases and Chronic Programme, Alexandra Hospital (AH), who commented that it is unlikely that the relaxation of Phase 2 measures would be implemented right away even though the number of local community cases has fallen.

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28
May
2021

Singapore battling more variants but it has a firmer grip on things amid fresh Covid-19 wave globally, is S'pore better or worse off than last year?

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, NUH Division of Infectious Disease, noted that Singapore is “starting to reap the benefits” of lower transmissions, since people who have been vaccinated, even with just one dose, are less likely to spread the virus. Should they get infected, the disease is less severe for them. As a result, hospitals have not been overwhelmed. A/Prof Hsu Li Yang, Vice Dean of Global Health, agreed that Singapore is in a stronger position than it was last year. Singapore also has safe and effective vaccines and the capacity to ramp up testing and containment facilities.

Straits Times also quoted A/Prof Alex Cook, Vice Dean of Research, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), who said that the major risk is the “seemingly more transmissible variants”, which is why the safety measures “are not quite as effective as they were last year”.

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28
May
2021

专家:本地社区病例 两周内趋稳令人鼓舞 (Experts: Five cases in Westgate store do not rule out possible transmission in public toilets)

联合早报 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

Lianhe Zaobao cited Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), and Dr Louisa Sun, Associate Consultant, Infectious Diseases and Chronic Programme, Alexandra Hospital (AH), who commented on the possible risk of transmissions in public toilets as masks would be removed and how close contact between individuals remain as a high risk of transmission. Prof Teo also shared that workers such as cleaners who are working in high-risk areas should be vaccinated and receive training on personal protection. 

Lianhe Zaobao also cited Prof Dale Fisher and A/Prof David Allen, Senior Consultants at the NUH Division of Infectious Disease, who both highlighted the importance of vaccination and that the role of the vaccine is also to help reduce the severity of the disease in infected cases.

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28
May
2021

How better ventilation in buildings could help stem the spread of COVID-19

Channel NewsAsia

Commenting on the updated guidelines to enhance ventilation and air quality in indoor spaces, Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, NUH Division of Infectious Disease, said some transmission could be prevented with good ventilation and air quality as the chance of an infective dose getting to a person is much reduced. 

CNA also quoted Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean of NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), who similarly agreed that improving air flow circulation in buildings, especially those that are currently poorly ventilated, could reduce the risk of airborne transmission.

Shin Min Daily also cited A/Prof Alex Cook, Vice-Dean of Research, NUS SSHSPH, who highlighted the importance of wearing masks during outdoor exercises as there is always a risk of transmission.

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27
May
2021

S’pore still ranks high in vaccination pace despite supply constraints

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​The Straits Times quoted A/Prof Hsu Li Yang, Vice-Dean of Global Health and Programme Leader of Infectious Diseases, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), who commented that the speed of vaccination should pick up once there are “adequate continuous supplies” of approved vaccines. Prof Dale Fisher, Senior Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases, NUH added that every country would love to be vaccinating faster, but demand outstrips supply globally. He commented that Singapore has a steady supply, and is in a good place as all long-term residents will have the opportunity to be vaccinated in the next few months.

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27
May
2021

活得好 天天健康:怎么进一步 降低婴儿猝死风险 ?(How to further reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome?)

新明日报 © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

​儿科医生提醒,不宜让小过四个月的婴儿与大人同睡,因为这是婴儿猝死高发期。婴儿四个月大后,父母想要让婴儿同睡,怎么做能进一步降低婴儿猝死症的风险?本报《活得好》请专科医生提供建议。

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26
May
2021

Fashionable masks may look good - but how can you tell if they protect against COVID-19?

Channel NewsAsia

​CNA quoted Prof Dale Fisher of NUS Medicine who said that reusable masks should have three layers, but minimally two. The outer layer should be made of a water-resistant material like polyester, while the inner layer should be water absorbent, such as cotton. If the mask has three layers, the middle layer should be a non-woven fabric like polypropylene. In addition, the mask should be a “snug fit” covering the mouth and the nose. However, the masks must not be a substitute for safe distancing, hand washing and not touching the face.

In a similar report, Zaobao Online also quoted Prof Fisher, Senior Consultant, NUH Division of Infectious Diseases, who advised the public not to use masks with exhalation valves, as there is a risk of droplets escaping through the valve. Prof Fisher pointed out that many cloth masks do not specify the types of fabric they are made of and he tends to trust only those that do so. 

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26
May
2021

Experts weigh in on mode of transmission at Jem, Westgate

The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission

The Straits Times quoted A/Prof Alex Cook, Vice-Dean of Research, NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH), who opined that it is quite impossible for rules to be adhered to fully and there is a possibility of lapses in personal hygiene and mask-wearing resulting in the 53-year old cleaner who might lead to the community cluster linked to the malls in Jurong East. A/Prof Cook added that for those who have visited the affected malls, going for a swab test is a good idea. He also started using a povidone-iodine throat spray three times a day, as a trial previously conducted by NUH has shown it to reduce the likelihood of infection by more than 20%.

Prof Teo Yik Ying, Dean, NUS SSHSPH, opined that clusters aside, how likely it is that Sars-Cov-2 will spread also depends on the environment such as if it is indoors or outdoors, and how well ventilated it is. 

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