DORSCON Level Raised To Orange: Here's What This Means
STORY: Janelle Yong
07 February 2020
As of 7 February 2020, the Ministry of Health has raised Singapore's DORSCON level from Yellow to Orange after confirming three additional cases of the novel coronavirus infection without links to previous cases or travel history to China.
What does this mean?
According to MOH guidelines, DORSCON Orange is defined as follows:
Nature of disease: Disease is severe AND spreads easily from person to person, but disease has not spread widely in Singapore and is being contained (eg. SARS experience in Singapore)
Impact on daily life: Moderate disruption (eg. Quarantine, temperature screening, visitor restrictions at hospitals)
Advice to public: Be socially responsible (eg. Stay home if you are sick), maintain good personal hygiene, look out for health advisories. In addition, be sure to comply with control measures implemented by the Ministry of Health.
For more information about DORSCON, check out our breakdown of the various DORSCON colour codes here.
Here's what this means for you:
- While large-scale events may continue as planned, organisers of such events will be required to implement additional precautionary measures by carrying out temperature screening, looking out for respiratory symptoms such as cough or runny nose and denying entry to unwell individuals.
- Event venues must also be ventilated and adequately equipped with facilities for handwashing, and commonly used areas should be frequently cleaned.
- Individuals who are unwell, on Leave of Absence or have recent travel history to China should refrain from attending large-scale public events.
- All employers should require employees to take their temperature regularly and remain vigilant of respiratory symptoms such as cough and runny nose. Temperature should be taken at least twice daily, and anyone found to be running a fever or otherwise unwell should leave the office immediately to see a doctor.
- All workplaces should step up and get ready their business continuity plans, in case there is widespread community transmission.
- MOH will be implementing temperature screening and closer controls of entry points into the hospitals. Hospitals will also be introducing measures to reduce risk of transmission by caring for patients with pneumonia separately from other patients. MOH will continue to work with healthcare institutions to enhance infection control.
- With immediate effect, schools will suspend inter-school and external activities till further notice. These include the national school games, learning journeys and camps. All schools and teachers will also continue to implement the enhanced measures announced on 4 February such as classroom-based assemblies, schoolbased co-curricular activities in smaller groups and staggered recesses.
- Preschools and social/eldercare services will impose restrictions on visitors to their premises.
Travellers and members of the public should adopt the following precautions at all times:
- Avoid contact with live animals including poultry and birds, and consumption of raw and undercooked meats;
- Avoid crowded places and close contact with people who are unwell or showing symptoms of illness;
- Observe good personal hygiene;
- Practise frequent hand washing with soap (e.g. before handling food or eating, after going to toilet, or when hands are dirtied by respiratory secretions after coughing or sneezing);
- Wear a mask if you have respiratory symptoms such as a cough or runny nose;
- Cover your mouth with a tissue paper when coughing or sneezing, and dispose the soiled tissue paper in the rubbish bin immediately; and
- Seek medical attention promptly if you are feeling unwell.