26 Mar 2020

COVID-19: What to do if you are possibly infected?

COVID-19 (also known as the Novel Coronavirus) is a new respiratory illness that was first discovered in Wuhan, China, for which there is currently no vaccine or specific treatment. It is caused by a member of the coronavirus family, which includes viruses causing illnesses ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus (SARS-CoV). If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow the steps below to care for yourself.


Keep track of symptoms

These usually appear within 1 to 14 days following exposure to the virus, and these include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Cough
  • High fever & tiredness
  • Muscle pain
  • Shortness of breath & severe respiratory disease



Stay home and avoid contact with others if you feel unwell

Isolate yourself from other members of your family. Use a self-contained room if possible so that you do not spread the infection to others or other parts of the house.


Make sure you cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze, to avoid spreading infected droplets.


Dispose of the used tissue in a covered bin immediately. If possible, wear a mask when in contact with other people.


Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth.


Stay hydrated, drink plenty of warm fluids, eat as many fruits as possible, making sure to wash them thoroughly first, and take vitamin C supplements to boost your immunity, as an attempt to minimise the symptoms.


Avoid sharing personal household items like dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. After using these items, wash them thoroughly with soap and water or put in the dishwasher or washing machine.


Limit contact with pets and animals, just as you would with people, although there are no reports of animals being infected by the virus.  If possible, have another member of your household care for your animals while you are sick or wash your hands before and after interacting with them.


Monitor your symptoms; start tracking when you might have possibly been infected and when the symptoms have started to appear.


If you develop the following emergency warning signs mentioned below, seek medical attention immediately:

  • Difficult breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Blushed lips or face


Call the COVID-19 Hotline on 8924 for information on how to proceed.


Note that private doctors and clinics will not treat people who might be infected by COVID-19.