What is the recent news on the COVID-19 spike?
With over 170 million confirmed cases and 3.5 million deaths across nearly 200 countries, the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread and develop several variants around the world. Having started in late 2019, we have seen phases of spikes and regression, followed by periodic improvements. Most recently, there has been an uptick in cases occurring in India and it has since spread to Malaysia, Australia, and even Singapore. With approximately 210 cases in Singapore just this May 2021, concerns over safety are growing day by day.
In response to this development, the Singapore government has increased restrictions on group numbers and the type of allowed activities to better mitigate the spread of cases in the community. Residents in Singapore are understandably concerned over a new wave of infections starting here again after a year’s work of progress in controlling the spread of the virus. However, there is a lot you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.
3 ways you can stay safe and healthy during this period
It’s vital that you take every precaution possible, whether cases increase or not. Sure, some of these restrictions may put a damper on our social lives and relationships but, it’s necessary to prioritise safety and well-being – not just for yourselves but for the good of the community.
1. Taking precautions with health insurance policies for expats
Reviewing and ensuring your expat health care insurance is up to date should be your topmost priority. Given that developments like testing and treatment are still expanding across the globe, this is a good time to check what’s covered and what isn’t.
In Singapore, the Ministry of Health will bear the costs of a swab test if you’ve visited a GP clinic due to feeling unwell. If you’ve come into contact with a COVID-19 infected individual, like the Royal Caribbean Cruise, the costs incurred will also be covered since it is a situation that is out of your control. Fortunately for Singaporean residents, PRs, and long-term pass holders, the government is absorbing the hospital bills of COVID-19 patients.
That said, having good healthcare coverage will give expats wider access to the medical services they might need, whether it’s to do with COVID-19 or not, during this period. This keeps you and your family protected during periods of stress and uncertainty.
Plus, getting insured early is always recommended for a number of reasons: it keeps premiums low and protects you from skyrocketing medical bills due to unforeseen circumstances.
2. Practising good hygiene
It goes without saying that everyone should practise good hygiene habits, regardless of whether there’s a pandemic. Although the future looks a tad bit brighter than when the pandemic first started, it’s absolutely essential that you follow the guidelines and rules set in place.
Wear a mask, follow social distancing rules, and wash or sanitise your hands regularly. Try to avoid touching your face, especially the eyes and nose, when you’re out in public and have been in contact with foreign surfaces. Religiously checking in with your TraceTogether app or token will go a long way in helping contact tracing efforts, which can help government bodies contain the circles of spread for this virus. Wherever possible, try to avoid densely-populated areas during this period and only go out when necessary.
3. Prioritising your mental health
The extended periods of isolation can have a negative impact on your mental well-being. When the focus on physical well-being is intensified, it’s easy to lose sight of the importance of mental health. However, your overall well-being very much depends on both physical and mental health.
Some ways you can keep healthy include going on regular walks around the neighbourhood, exercising, starting or revisiting hobbies (think painting, sewing, or reading), and working on self-improvement. There are a myriad of ways you can stay occupied while indoors, with podcasts, audiobooks, shows, and classes made available online. You can also schedule virtual chats with your friends and check in on them regularly.
Staying strong during the pandemic!
Navigating this pandemic is a shared social responsibility. Keeping your medical insurance updated, abiding by safety guidelines, and taking care of your health is vital to beating this virus. But, it is only one part of the equation. By working together, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 and hopefully, return to doing the things we love.
Have questions about health insurance policies? Contact our team today.