Tan Kin Lian calls out MOH for 'horrendous management' of family with COVID

Singapore — Former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian shared the story of a family who arrived from Thailand and tested positive for Covid just before their release from quarantine.

The family, comprised of a Singaporean man, Ivan Tay, his Thai wife, Nantavadee Samran, and their one-year-old son, understandably requested to be sent to the same facility.

What followed were 48 hours of uncertainty and frustration as the family packed, got ready to be brought to a facility, unpacked again, were asked to quarantine separately as no facility was available, or quarantine in the husband’s home after displacing his 80-year-old grandmother.

As of Nov 4, the family is still at the hotel. 

Mr Tan Kin Lian wrote, “I hope that MOH (Ministry of Health) will improve the system of communication. 

TKL gave a suggestion to OYK a few weeks ago. He said – MOH has a system already. 

The system is liddat?

Horrendous management of Covid-19 infected family.”

Mr Tay’s full account, posted on Oct 31, may be read here, which  he signs as “The family in Room 1943, Carlton Hotel.”

He wrote that the family had arrived from Bangkok on Oct 20 and stayed at Carlton Hotel for their 10-day mandatory Stay Home Notice (SHN).

Their swab tests taken before leaving Thailand and upon arriving in Singapore were both negative, but when swabbed on the tenth day of their SHN on Oct 30, Mr Tay tested positive.

Preliminary arrangements from the Ministry of Health were to have him brought to a Community Care Facility in Sentosa, but he asked to wait for his wife’s test result. Soon enough, it came back showing she was positive for Covid as well.

They were then told to pack their belongings as the whole family would be brought to the facility. 

When no one came to pick them up, they unpacked again and settled in for the night. 

The next afternoon, they received a call from the reception telling them an ambulance was waiting to pick them up, without a prior call to inform them. Mr Tay asked for a little more time, as any family with a sleeping infant would.

But when he called the receptionist, he was told that the ambulance left as they were only expecting to pick up Mr Tay and his wife, and not their baby.

“Let me highlight that by this point, almost 48 hours after being informed of testing positive, not a single MOH officer throughout all the phone calls asked if we are having any fever or other symptoms. Nobody offered to send us a thermometer or oximeter or and form of medication,” he added.

When he next spoke to MOH, he was given the option of separating the family for quarantine, as a facility could only take one parent and child, or enrolling in the Home Recovery Programme at Mr Tay’s home, which would mean inconveniencing his elderly grandmother by moving her out of the house. 

“Why would you want to transfer my Covid-free and healthy grandmother to another place? What’s this? Dear readers, enlighten me please, who in the right mind would come up with this?” he wrote.

Mr Tay wrote an update to his original post on Thursday afternoon (Nov 4). Apparently, the family is still stuck at the hotel.

More confusion (and frustration) has ensued since then.

First, on Nov 1, he was told he would be warded at a care facility and his wife and child at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. But as the transport that was supposed to pick them up at 8 pm did not arrive, they stayed put.

The following day, they were given serology tests to see if the positive results they received from the swab test was due to a past Covid infection in July.

On Nov 3, the day when they were supposed to get the serology test results back and determine their next steps, no one contacted them again.

“Today is the 4th of November, still no answers so far, so what’s gonna happen next? How long more till we get out of here or get an answer?,” he wrote.

Mr Tay added that coverage of his family’s situation from “tabloids in the Chinese language both in Singapore and Malaysia,” have represented them as “being difficult with the government and wasting resources,” which has resulted in “horrible comments thrown towards us.”

“I am so disappointed at how these media companies are milking us for profit. Those who know the truth from my account will know that we have not been rebellious, unreasonable nor demanding,” he wrote, adding that the family is healthy, but they’re “starting to be psychologically unwell from being cooped up here for 16 days now! 

Once again, please help to like and share this post, hopefully it will trigger or expedite some form of help to us soonest possible. Stay safe always!” he added. /TISG

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