SINGAPORE — Temasek Foundation will be providing a free oximeter for every Singapore household, to enable Singaporeans to monitor their blood oxygen levels regularly.
This will help them detect "silent pneumonia", a serious side effect of COVID-19 where ill people can feel generally well despite damaged lungs and dangerously low levels of oxygen.
"An oximeter can help alert us to seek medical attention when the levels become dangerously low," the foundation said in a media release on Thursday (24 June).
To enable collection of the oximeters, Singapore Post will be distributing a leaflet by Temasek Foundation's Stay Prepared initiative to each household letterbox between 28 June and 3 July.
Residents will need to take the leaflets to collection outlets to redeem the oximeters. There are over 300 outlets participating in this collection drive, including NTUC FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Giant, Cold Storage, Watsons, Unity and Guardian outlets.
Collection starts during store opening hours on 5 July and ends on 5 August. Residents can check their nearest collection points and operating hours at the Stay Prepared initiative's website.
Residents may collect the oximeters on behalf of other households or their friends and neighbours by bringing along their household leaflets with the redemption tabs.
How to use the oximeter
The oximeters being distributed in this initiative are manufactured by biotechnology companies Lepu and Yuwell, and will be dispensed based on distributions from Temasek Foundation's warehouse.
The foundation said in the media release that both brands of oximeters perform the same key function of measuring blood oxygen levels and pulse rates, and residents need not be concerned which one they are given.
To use the oximeter, place it around the fingertip, press the oximeter's button to activate the device and wait for a few seconds for your blood oxygen level reading to stabilise.
Two numbers may be displayed - one for blood oxygen concentration (SpO2), the other for heart rate. Blood oxygen levels less than 90 per cent are dangerously low, and urgent treatment is needed at an Accident and Emergency department.
Use a disinfecting sanitiser to wipe the oximeter before and after use, if the oximeter is being shared. Keep the oximeter away from dust, vibration, high temperature, moisture, corrosive substances, and explosive materials.
More information on how to use, store and care for the oximeters can be found here.
Oximeter should not replace COVID-19 test
Temasek Foundation said in the media release that blood oxygen level readings should not replace a COVID-19 test, and low blood oxygen levels may be caused by other underlying conditions or complications besides COVID-19.
Those who are concerned regarding any potential exposure to COVID-19 should seek medical attention immediately, get tested, and isolate themselves from others until they receive a negative test result.
In the event that an oximeter has a manufacturing defect or is faulty, residents may exchange their unit at Temasek Shophouse at 28 Orchard Road during operating hours (9am to 6pm weekdays, 11am to 5pm weekends) from 5 July to 31 August. Please bring along the oximeter with a government-issued identification for verification purposes.
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