The Temasek Foundation announced on Thursday that it will distribute oximeters to every household in Singapore to help monitor blood oxygen levels, which can help detect early signs of health deterioration.
“The COVID-19 virus can cause blood oxygen levels to drop to dangerously low levels, even when you have no other symptoms. An oximeter can help alert us to seek medical attention when the levels become dangerously low,” said the foundation in a media statement. It added that “silent pneumonia” is one of the most serious consequences of COVID-19. Seriously ill people can feel generally well, despite having damaged lungs.
Families can collect the devices between July 5 and August 5 at over 300 local stores and supermarkets, including FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Giant, Cold Storage, Watsons, Unity, and Guardian. They can be collected with a leaflet issued and sent by SingPost. Families can check their nearest collection points and operation hours on the Stay Prepared website.
Blood oxygen levels in a range between 95% and 100% are considered healthy, while readings between 90% and 94% are deemed low. Levels below 90% are considered dangerous and urgent treatment is needed.
Users can place the oximeter around their fingertips and press a button to activate the device. It will take a few seconds for the blood oxygen level reading to stabilize. The device screen will show the blood oxygen level and pulse rate. Users are advised to keep the oximeter away from dust, vibration, high temperature, moisture, corrosive substances, and explosive materials.
The foundation said blood oxygen readings cannot replace a COVID-19 test, but low readings can indicate underlying conditions or complications.
The oximeters are manufactured by biotech firms Lepu and Yuwell. Last year, Temasek Foundation provided 8,000 oximeters to foreign workers in dormitories as part of measures to curb the spread of the infection.
This article was originally published by Vulcan Post.