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No delay in issuance of Quarantine Order

We thank Mr Choy Lee Piak for his letter (“隔离的流程和安排待改善”, 18 May).

Mr Choy had been identified as a close contact of a COVID-19 case who had tested positive for COVID-19 infection on 9 May. Upon investigating, it was determined that he had come into contact with the COVID-19 case on 27 Apr.  Though it was at the tail end of the incubation period, had Mr Choy been infected, a Quarantine Order (QO) was raised on 11 May. There was no delay in the issuance of his quarantine order. Mr Choy was conveyed to a Government Quarantine Facility (GQF) the following day.

As part of the procedure, Mr Choy was administered the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) swab test to ensure that Mr Choy is free from COVID-19.  His quarantine period was extended to 13 May while awaiting his test result, and was immediately rescinded once the result was received.

As a principle, persons under quarantine are housed individually.  However, under extenuating circumstances, such as whether he or she is an elderly, a minor below the age of 20, or has a medical condition, and hence unable to look after him/ herself, caregivers are allowed.  Such requests are carefully assessed and considered on a case-by-case basis. Caregivers have to agree and adhere to several requirements, including to remain contactable throughout the PUQ’s quarantine period, monitor both the quarantined person’s and their own health status, report symptoms immediately, and observe good personal hygiene.

We thank Mr Choy for his feedback and will translate the documents at GQF to the vernacular languages. Although QO documents are in English, our staff are able to provide assistance with explaining the requirements of QOs in the vernacular languages upon request. Persons under quarantine may also put in requests for dietary requirements for medical and religious reasons, so that the necessary arrangements can be made.

Mr Dinesh Vasu Dash
Group Director, Crisis Strategy and Operations Group
Ministry of Health


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