Temasek Foundation announced today (June 24) that it will be giving every household in Singapore an oximeter to help them monitor their 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.
“‘Silent pneumonia’ is one of the most serious consequences of Covid-19, where seriously ill people can feel generally well, despite damaged lungs,” it added.
Families can collect the devices from July 5 to August 5 at over 300 local personal stores and supermarkets including FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Giant, Cold Storage, Watsons, Unity, and Guardian.
The device can be collected with a leaflet that will be issued by SingPost to households via letterboxes from next Monday (June 28) till Saturday (July 3).
Families can check their nearest collection points and operation hours on the Stay Prepared website.
How to use an oximeter
Healthy blood oxygen levels are between 95 and 100 per cent, and levels between 90 and 94 per cent are deemed low readings.
Levels below 90 per cent are considered dangerously low and urgent treatment is needed at an Accident and Emergency department.
Users can place the oximeter around the finger tip and press a button to activate the device. It will take a few seconds for the blood oxygen level reading to stabalise.
The results on the device screen will show the blood oxygen level and the pulse rate.
If the oximeter is being shared, users should use a disinfecting sanitiser to wipe it before and after use.
Do take note 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 as it is not a definite indicator of testing positive of the virus, but it noted that low readings can be caused by other underlying conditions or complications.
The oximeters distributed in this initiative are manufactured by biotech firms Lepu and Yuwell. Both brands carry the same key function of measuring blood oxygen levels and pulse rates, and will be dispensed based on distributions from Temasek Foundation’s warehouse.
Last year, Temasek Foundation gave out 8,000 oximeters to foreign workers in dormitories as part of measures to curb the spread of the infection.
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Featured Image Credit: Temasek Foundation