The Gold Standard

Saturday, Apr 04 2020 12:30 PM

 

The Gold Standard
A term used to describe a method or procedure that is widely recognized as the best available

(The Free Dictionary)

 

As we write this, the world is twenty-three days into a pandemic (declared by the World Health Organization on 12 March 2020).

The SARS-CoV-2 virus has struck almost every country in the world; 1,100,663 cases have been confirmed, though 221,841 have completely recovered; and 59,220 people have died from COVID-19, the associated disease. (Figures updated 4 Apr 2020)

Of course, this is by no means the first major, global outbreak of an infectious disease, even in recent years: in 2009 we had both H1N1 and Swine Flu, and in 2002/2003 SARS. AIDS is estimated to have killed 36 million people around the globe from 2005-2012. (Our last declared pandemic was AIDS.)

What makes the current infection so rare is the sheer transmissibility of the virus. Because this figure is so high, and so few countries initially treated the situation with the gravity it deserved, we now have a pandemic on our hands.

Singapore has set the gold standard in many areas. The COVID-19 outbreak has been no different.

Within a week of Singapore confirming its first case, local researchers had successfully cultured the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Then we got into the limelight for development of the SARS-CoV-2 test kit. Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology and director of the Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, and colleagues at Harvard Chan School lauded Singapore’s approach for detecting COVID-19 as “a gold standard of near-perfect detection”.

Singapore used its early infections to establish an advanced contact-tracing system. The Duke-NUS Medical School developed a serological test (done on blood samples) that can determine links between infected cases. This allowed authorities to trace the chain of transmission — a necessary step to breaking it. (25 Mar 2020 update: Singapore scientists develop test kit that can test for COVID-19 in 5-10 minutes! This will be the fastest official test in the world, when approved.)

Even the World Health Organisation (WHO) was impressed. “Singapore is a good example of an all-of-government approach ...” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

Singapore is striving to be at the frontline of not only biotechnology but also the cybersecurity, automated intelligence, robotics, and compliance and regulatory arenas. We don’t have a choice: we are a tiny nation with no natural resources. It’s either thrive or die for us. It is our mission to set the gold standard wherever possible.

 

"Let me give you some other words that matter much more and that are much more actionable: Prevention, Preparedness, Public Health, Political Leadership, and most of all People."

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus
WHO Director-General
Media Briefing on COVID-19

 

Nevertheless, our battle with contagious pathogens will never be done. This was not the first, and will not be the last, opportunity for countries and companies to create innovative technologies to ensure the safety and security of their people + process + business eco-systems.

Preparedness is everything, as COVID-19 shows us, once again. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. (Benjamin Franklin)

Vault@268 has recently installed an air-filtration system and incorporated two new services for its clients:

> A pharmaceutical-grade hand sanitiser for clients’ disposal before and after each transaction

> Increased thorough surface sanitisation by commercial cleaning personnel

> A basic triple-filter air-treatment system that removes 99.99% of particles as small as 0.0024 microns:

 

- A Pre-Filter that captures large, airborne fibres and hair

- A HEPA filter that removes small particles such as viruses, bacteria, fungi such as mould, allergens, and asbestos

- A Cold Catalyst Filter that reduces formaldehyde, dioxin and ozone

 

UV sterilisation

 

 

 

Anion release

 

 

 

Upcoming innovations for the safety of our clients and our business environment:

> Automated disinfection systems (initiative disinfection system to sanitise high touch point surfaces and air)

> Thermal, facial, biometric-access capability (reads employees and visitors temperature before access)

> Streamlined, automated, easy registration for on-boarding of clients

Finally, while other facilities are mandating that visits to safe deposit boxes be restricted by appointment only, Vault@268 remains open, benefitting from biometrics and automation, throughout these trying times.

Your usage remains 24 hours through the ground floor side door. COVID-19 situation is evolving and in the event when a strict lockdown is imminent and the building personnel are unavailable, we have remote assistance during this period. Should you require any assistance, you may call us at +65-84827713.

For new clients who wish to secure a personal safe deposit box from our private vault, our sales operations will be open for 5 hours from Monday to Friday, 11:00am to 4:00pm (no lunch break).

 

“The vault is so clean … you can do Qigong in the premises.”

Feedback from a client

 

Note:

Tomas Pueyo, a Stanford MBA currently leading a billion-dollar business, has done a marvellous job of presenting the facts in ‘Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now’ (reference 4 below), a paper chockful of models, data, and charts on the disease. He writes:

Containment is making sure all the cases are identified, controlled, and isolated. It’s what Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan or Taiwan are doing so well: They very quickly limit people coming in, identify the sick, immediately isolate them, use heavy protective gear to protect their health workers, track all their contacts, quarantine them … This works extremely well when you’re prepared and you do it early on, and don’t need to grind your economy to a halt to make it happen.

 

 

Resources:

  1. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak situation  | World Health Organisation (WHO)
    https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
  2. SARS-CoV-2 Live Data | nCoV 2019
    https://ncov2019.live/
  3. The latest on the coronavirus | Harvard T. H Chan
    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/the-latest-on-the-coronavirus/
  4. Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now | Medium, 10 Mar 2020
    https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca
  5. Spore is gold standard for case detection: Harvard study | The Strait Times, 18 Feb 2020
    https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/spore-is-gold-standard-for-case-detection-harvard-study
  6. Singapore’s coronavirus response has contained the outbreak—but its strategy is hard to replicate | Fortune, 28 Feb 2020
    https://fortune.com/2020/02/28/singapore-coronavirus-contained-response/
  7. The ‘sixth sense’ and long nights behind virus test kit | Tan Tock Seng Hospital, 16 Feb 2020
    https://www.ttsh.com.sg/About-TTSH/TTSH-News/Pages/The-%E2%80%98sixth-sense%E2%80%99-and-long-nights-behind-virus-test-kit.aspx
  8. Media Briefing on COVID-19 | Facebook, 12 Mar 2020
    https://www.facebook.com/93889432933/posts/10157199629902934/
  9. Coronavirus: Singapore scientists on the front lines of fight against Covid-19 | The Straits Times, 25 Mar 2020 
    https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/health/singapore-scientists-on-the-front-lines-of-fight-against-covid-19

 

Information accurate at time of publishing.

Image: Infographic from www.dkv.global/covid (no copyright infringement is intended)


Copyright © Vault@268 Pte Ltd   Author: Vinay Kumar Rai




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