Comment: Chinese New Year gatherings are potential breeding grounds for viruses. Here’s how to protect yourself

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PERSONAL SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY DOES NOT END WITH COVID-19 TESTING

It is also important to remember that while an ART test kit is an essential tool for containing the spread of COVID-19, it is not the only measure we should take to take personal social responsibility when we feel unwell.

ART kits can only detect the presence of COVID-19, but it’s not the only respiratory virus to watch out for. A person with symptoms may be infected by something else, such as a flu virus or even a bacteria that results in a COVID-19-like illness.

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If you are not feeling well, see a doctor, quarantine and rest at home. If your symptoms are mild after that and you absolutely must go outside, put on a mask as soon as you leave your house.

CELEBRATING FESTIVE SEASONS CAN BE A DOUBLE-SIDED SWORD

While social and cultural cohesion through holiday celebrations are important for improving our emotional and psychological well-being and quality of life, the mass movement and gathering of people may increase the risk of transmission of an infectious respiratory pathogen.

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However, with a high degree of social responsibility, advocacy and trust through compliance with preventive measures, we can significantly reduce this risk in exchange for a more enjoyable Chinese New Year celebration. I wish everyone a healthy and safe Chinese New Year.

Vincent Pang Junxiong is an assistant professor, Center for Outbreak Preparedness at Duke-NUS Medical School.

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