Here is our fifth special SDG Dispatch communication regarding the current virus situation.
One of our dental specialists, Dr Neo Tee Khin (NTK), was served a Quarantine Order (QO) and asked to undergo a nasal swab testing for COVID-19 last week. Thankfully, his test results have returned as “NEGATIVE (NOT TESTED)” and we are all really happy for him. We interviewed him virtually while he was serving the rest of his hospitalisation leave (HL) to find out more about his experience.
Q: Why were you on QO?
NTK: I was informed that I will be served a QO by Ministry of Health (MOH) as I was climbing in the same gym as a COVID-positive climber.
Q: What was your experience at Singapore’s National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID)?
NTK: MOH sent an ambulance to bring me to NCID for nasal swab testing as I was symptomatic. Upon arrival, I was given a N95 mask and attended to immediately. A nurse in full personal protective equipment (PPE) took down my travel and medical history.
Subsequently, I took a chest x-ray. When my lungs were declared cleared, I heaved a huge sigh of relief.
The last step was to do a nasal swab. It was uncomfortable but not painful. Everything was completed in an hour and I was allowed to head home after to wait for the results of the test.
As a healthcare worker (HCW) myself, I felt that NCID was very well-organised and efficient. Every minute detail was considered to protect the patients and the medical team (who are valuable resources in this crisis).
As a Singaporean, I am truly impressed with not only the efficiency but the fact that our NCID screening resources are adequate.
Q: What are your after thoughts?
NTK: I learnt a few lessons from the current situation:
- I truly feel that Singapore is the safest place on earth in this crisis. In fact, I am thankful that my daughter is coming home after UK have announced for schools to be closed until further notice.
- Singapore is READY for this crisis. Lessons learnt from SARS, MERS and H1N1 have indeed not been lost. This virus is not as deadly as SARS, but far more contagious. It will stretch the healthcare resources of governments that do not have the foresight to plan for a pandemic like this.
- Transparency is the key in dealing with this crisis so that citizen are informed and educated to take some social responsibility. Governments who are used to kicking the can down the road will soon realize that it will blow up in their faces and eventually have a bigger infected population to deal with.
- Every citizen must do their part for this to work. As One people, One Nation, One Singapore, we will overcome this crisis together.
- We live in a society with a uni-dimensional measure of success – economic growth and more economic growth. Perhaps, Mother Nature is telling us to slow down and really reassess what matters in life.
For someone who has not taken a single day of medical leave in 25 years, perhaps it is time for me to smell the roses and ponder…
Dr Neo Tee Khin has completed his QO as of last Sunday and has been certified healthy. He will be back serving patients on Thursday (25 March 2020), afternoon. We would like to thank our patients for their understanding and concern.