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Singapore—Former politician Jose Raymond asked in a Facebook post on Sunday (Mar 14) how one work pass holder who later tested positive for Covid-19 had been allowed to decline a swab test despite showing a possible symptom of the infection. 

This had been reported in straistimes.com (ST) on Saturday (Mar 13) and Mr Raymond, the former chairman of the Singapore People’s Party (SPP), added a photo and a link to the ST article to his post.

He wrote, “How is it he was able to decline a Covid-19 test, despite showing symptoms? 

Shouldn’t his doctor have the power to compel him to take a test in the name of public safety?

And he was able to move around freely?” 

Screenshot from The Straits Times posted on Jose Raymond’s Facebook page

According to the article, the work pass holder was the sole community case in Singapore as of Friday (March 12). His case was announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in its media release that day.

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The MOH said that on March 1, the 36-year-old Indian national had a runny nose, which is among the symptoms of a possible Covid-19 case.

He went to see a general practitioner on the same day but refused a Covid-19 test. 

The man, an IT engineer at Deutsche Bank, was then given medical leave for five days and was told to return and get tested if his symptoms did not clear up.

However, when he was tested for Covid-19 on March 11 in preparation for a trip to India, he tested positive. He was brought to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases in an ambulance on the same day.

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“His serological test result has come back positive, which indicates a likely past infection,” the MOH said.

The man had arrived from India earlier this year, on Jan 16. He stayed in isolation until Jan 30 and tested negative for Covid-19 after his SHN. After this time, he has been working from home.

  1. Mr Raymond seems to believe that the doctor should have been more forceful in having gotb the man tested. And while the man had been given five days of medical leave after showing symptoms, this does not guarantee that he did not, in actuality, move about.

“Patients who take the Covid-19 swab have to wait for the result before they can move around, and it is becomes punishable by law if they do. 

So it is alright for someone to decline a Covid-19 test, despite showing symptoms, and move around freely and run the risk of infecting the community?” he added.

Mr Raymond underlined the gravity of the situation, writing, “This is as bad as breaching a stay home notice, or partying on boats.”

At present, Singapore has had 60,088 Covid-19 cases and 30 deaths. The MOH said on Mar 14 that 17 cases are still in hospital, most of whom stable or improving. No Covid patients are in the intensive care unit. Ninety patients are in isolation at community facilities.


Read also: SPP chairman Jose Raymond says farewell to politics

SPP chairman Jose Raymond says farewell to politics

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