Ministry Of Health (MOH) Health Advisory for Persons Placed on Leave of Absence

01 FEB 2020

HEALTH ADVISORY FOR PERSONS PLACED ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE

WHO SHOULD BE ON LEAVE OF ABSENCE

1. With effect from 31 January 2020 6pm, the following returning groups are to be placed on a 14-day leave of absence from the day of their return to Singapore from mainland China:
 
a. Residents (Singaporean Citizens/ PRs) with recent travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days; and
b. Long-term pass holders (including Work Passes and Permits, Student Pass, Dependent Pass and Long-term Visit Pass) with recent travel history to mainland China within the last 14 days.

2. The leave of absence does not apply retrospectively to people who returned to Singapore from mainland China before 31 January 2020 6pm.

3. The earlier advisories issued on 28 January 2020 for sectors where there is close and sustained contact with vulnerable populations – namely, preschools and education, healthcare and eldercare – would continue.

4. Previously announced quarantine requirements for returning residents and long-term pass holders with travel history to Hubei, or with PRC passports issued in Hubei, remain in effect.


WHAT MUST BE DONE DURING YOUR LEAVE OF ABSENCE

5. Remain in your place of residence as much as possible during your leave of absence.

6. Minimise visitors to your residence. You should maintain a record of persons you come into close contact with during your leave of absence.

7. You may leave your place of residence to purchase daily necessities or to attend to important personal matters. However, you should minimise your time spent in public spaces and contact with other individuals, and return to your place of residence as quickly as possible. If necessary, you may opt for home delivery services or enlist the assistance of others for your daily necessities.

8. You should avoid going to crowded places and attending social gatherings during your leave of absence.


CHECK FOR SYMPTOMS

9. Monitor yourself for fever (e.g. fever ≥ 38°C) and respiratory symptoms such as cough and breathlessness.

10. If you develop fever, cough or breathlessness, or are feeling unwell, you should seek medical attention immediately at any outpatient clinic. Please inform the staff and doctor of your travel history. Wear a surgical mask (Annex A) before leaving your
residence and avoid taking public transport. Your doctor will assess and refer you to hospital for further assessment, including testing for 2019-nCoV if necessary. If you do not have any symptoms, you do not need to see a doctor or go to a hospital to be
tested for the presence of the infection.

11. In emergency situations (e.g. difficulty in breathing), you should call 995 for an ambulance to take you to hospital. Please inform the 995 operator of your travel history to mainland China.

12. Persons on leave of absence may resume normal activities such as attending work and school, after 14 days from returning from China, if they remain well.


OBSERVE GOOD PERSONAL HYGIENE

13. Maintain good personal hygiene, including hand washing with soap and water or use of alcohol-based hand rub.

14. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.

15. Maintain good indoor ventilation.

16. Avoid sharing food, crockery, utensils and other personal hygiene items.


MINISTRY OF HEALTH
01 FEBRUARY 2020




FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS) FOR PERSONS UNDER LEAVE OF ABSENCE (LOA)
UPDATED 01 FEB 2020


1. Does this advisory also apply to persons who have travelled to the Special Administrative Regions under China?

No, this advisory applies only to those who have travelled to mainland China.

2. Are persons in transit at airports in China excluded from this advisory?
Travellers who transit in an airport in mainland China are not considered as having travelled to mainland China. Therefore, they are excluded from this advisory.

3. Am I under quarantine orders?
No, you are not under quarantine orders. You may leave your place of residence to attend to urgent matters, but are strongly advised to minimise your time spent in public spaces and to avoid social contact.

4. Given that this is only an advisory, can I not comply to the guidelines stated?
You are strongly advised to comply as a precautionary measure to prevent transmission of disease in your workplace, place of education, or to members of public. Employers and employees have a joint duty to ensure that the employee behaves responsibly during the leave of absence. MOM reserves the right to take action against the employer or employee, if they fail to discharge their duty. Employers can refer to the MOM website (www.mom.gov.sg/wuhanvirus) for the latest advisories.

5. Will my family members and friends who did not travel with me be able to attend work or school?

Yes, they may continue with their daily activities as they did not travel to mainland China and do not fall under this advisory.

6. Can my family members continue to stay with me during this time? Are they at risk of infection?

Yes, your family members may continue to live with you. However, you and your family should observe good personal hygiene practices (refer to guidelines). If you become unwell, avoid contact with your family members and seek medical attention
immediately.

7. What will happen if I am unwell? Will I be isolated if I turn out to be a confirmed case subsequently?

Seek medical attention if you are unwell. Please wear a surgical mask before leaving your residence and avoid taking public transport. Please inform the staff and doctor of your travel history. Your doctor will assess your health and may refer you to hospital if further assessment is necessary. If you are subsequently admitted and tested positive for novel coronavirus, you will be treated in an isolation room, until you are well enough to be discharged.

8. My flatmates/ tenants have just returned from mainland China. Can I still carry on with my daily activities (e.g. work, school)?

Yes, this advisory applies only to persons returning from mainland China. However, you should minimise contact with persons under LOA. Those on LOA and others who are living together should continue to monitor your health, observe good personal hygiene and seek medical attention if unwell.

9. Do I need to declare to my employers/schools regarding my travel history?

Person who have returned from mainland China are advised to inform their employers or schools regarding their travel history. This is so that your employer or school can provide the necessary assistance to facilitate your leave of absence.

10. If I am worried about my status (whether or not I am infected), can I go to hospital / National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) to get tested?

Diagnostic testing is available for symptomatic individuals who are admitted to hospital on suspicion of infection. If you develop fever, cough or breathlessness, or are feeling unwell, you should wear a mask and seek immediate medical attention at any outpatient clinic. Your doctor will assess and refer you to the hospital if necessary.

11. Can I send my employees/ students to the doctor to get tested at the end of the 14-day LOA period so that they can be cleared to come back to work/return to school?

Diagnostic testing is available for symptomatic individuals who are admitted to hospital on suspicion of infection. It is therefore not useful to send employees who do not have symptoms to the doctor/ hospital for testing. Such individuals will not be offered diagnostic testing, and will be asked to return home.

12. Where do I get the latest information on the disease situation?

Health advisories and latest information on the local disease situation is available on the Singapore Ministry of Health website at www.moh.gov.sg. For queries, please call the MOH general enquiry hotline at 6325 9220. For the latest global disease situation,
you may wish to refer to information on the World Health Organisation website at www.who.int.


ANNEX A
HOW TO WEAR A SURGICAL MASK

1. Unfold the pleats. Make sure they are facing down.

2. Place mask on your face with the non-absorbent side (blue or green) side facing outwards, with the metallic strip resting on your nose.

3. Apply elastic loops around the ears, or tie the strings behind your head and neck.

4. Apply the metallic strip securely over the bridge of the nose. Make sure it conforms to your nose.

5. Ensure that the mask fully covers the nose, mouth and is stretched gently over the chin. Make sure there are no gaps on either side of the mask.

6. Change mask if it becomes moist or damaged.