[Updated] Testing positive for Omicron on arrival in Singapore: One reader’s experience

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Testing positive for COVID-19 on arrival in Singapore isn't fun, but it's even less fun if you have the Omicron variant. Here's what to expect.

Update (27 Dec): Singapore is no longer sending Omicron cases to NCID or dedicated isolation facilities; they will now be eligible for home recovery. This is a fantastic development, and should hopefully take some anxiety off the shoulders of travellers to Singapore

Update (25 Dec): Kevin has been discharged from Oasia Novena. The article has been updated with more details on the discharge process as well as some of his reflections on the overall experience.

Do note that the SOP now appears to have changed, and asymptomatic individuals are being sent directly to Oasia Novena instead of NCID. It is also possible that you may end up with a stranger as a roommate at Oasia.

The Straits Times reports that there are 14 active facilities set up for close contacts of COVID-19 cases, with a further 12 to come online if needed. Other hotels may become Omicron holding areas if demand warrants. 

With constantly changing border measures, testing regimes and the possibility of further lockdowns, year end travel isn’t quite panning out the way we’d hoped- but it sure beats the situation we were in this time last year. 

Even so, anyone who ventures overseas at the moment needs to accept that a COVID-19 infection is a very real possibility. 

The good news is that fully vaccinated individuals have very little to worry about, at least medically (get your boosters, people). The bad news is that getting infected still entails a whole lot of administrative hassle, especially if you’re unlucky enough to get the new Omicron variant.

That’s exactly what happened to Milelion reader Kevin (not his real name), a Singapore citizen who shares the account below. 

Testing positive for Omicron on arrival

Arrival at Changi Airport | Photo: The Milelion

On 13 December, my girlfriend Sora and I flew from London to Singapore on SQ305. This wasn’t a VTL flight- we couldn’t find any award space. But since we could both work from home, we were fine with the 7-day SHN, which we planned to spend at her apartment.

Both of us are double vaccinated (with Pfizer) and received negative results on our pre-departure ARTs done in downtown London about a day before our flight. 

We landed at Changi around 6.30 a.m on 14 December and went through the usual arrivals process. The swab test was done at Terminal 3 after luggage collection around 7 a.m, after which we headed straight to her apartment. 

I felt fine in the morning, but Sora felt a bit off around 11 a.m and went to take a nap. At 12 p.m, we were both informed via SMS that we’d tested positive. 

MOH officials called us to start the contact tracing process (basically our Grab driver and those who sat near us on the plane- we were in Business Class so hopefully that won’t be too many) and issue an isolation order. We were also told that we’d receive further instructions, and not to leave the house under any circumstances.

Surprisingly, things didn’t happen straight away. It wasn’t until 9 or 10 p.m the following day (15 December) that Sora got a call with further details on conveyance to NCID (National Centre for Infectious Diseases). An ambulance crew would come to pick her up, and they’d call at least 15 minutes before arrival. She was advised to have a bag on standby with clothes for five days, plus essentials like toiletries. 

The ambulance call for Sora came at 11 p.m, and the ambulance itself at 11.45 p.m. 

My call came at 3 p.m on 16 December, and the ambulance arrived at 4 p.m.

On arrival at NCID, I was put into a 2-bed room (by the way, you’re not allowed to take photos of the NCID ward, in case you’re wondering why they’re absent). I went through a (very deep) PCR test, had blood samples drawn, took a bedside chest X-ray, and had my blood pressure and temperature measured. After that, I was sent back to the room with a tracking device to ensure I didn’t leave. 

The doctor who attended to me told me there were two conditions to get out of NCID:

  1. A minimum of 10 days must pass from the date of my first positive PCR test (i.e. the one I did on arrival at Changi on 14 December)
  2. My CT value must be greater than 30 for two consecutive PCR tests (tests are done once every 3 days)
What is a CT Value?

Otherwise known as cycle threshold, CT value is a number that comes up during a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR) test, used widely here and touted as the gold standard for Covid-19 testing. The test looks for genetic sequences specific to Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19.

During a PCR reaction, genetic material from the virus is amplified, and multiple copies are created. Amplification takes place through a series of cycles – a single copy becomes two, two becomes four, and so on. Only after multiple cycles is a detectable quantity of virus produced.

CT value hence refers to the number of cycles it takes to detect the virus.

If a higher number of cycles is needed – hence a higher CT value – it means that the amount of virus, otherwise known as viral load, is low. This is because the virus is spotted only after many cycles. Conversely, if a low number of cycles is required, this means that the viral load is high, as few cycles are needed to detect the virus.

CT value hence has an inverse correlation with viral load.

Source: Straits Times

I mean, leaving aside the fact it’s the festive season, you’ll want to get the hell out of dodge as soon as you can because the stay experience at NCID is, shall we say, less than desirable.

The food is bad. Really bad. It’s supposedly what you’d get if you were in a C-class ward in a government hospital, and pray hard you had the foresight to bring cup noodles. 

NCID food
NCID food
NCID food
NCID food

Rooms have power plugs so you can do your work and charge your devices, but the Wi-Fi signal (from [email protected]) is so spotty you’ll probably need to tether from your phone’s data plan, or have the foresight and bring a mobile Wi-Fi as I did – shoutout to TP-Link and its M7200 mobile Wi-Fi + my Circles 50GB plan for keeping me employed.

PCR tests are scheduled every 3 days. For what it’s worth, the CT score of my initial PCR test at Changi was 25, which worsened to 16 when I arrived at NCID. 

Thankfully, you don’t need to wear your mask when inside the room. In terms of routine, every morning the nurse takes your blood pressure and your oxygen readings. The doctors do their rounds and listen to your lungs. Three meals are served per day, and you can ask the nurses for water, coffee, tea, biscuits and slices of bread with butter and jam at any time.

I mentioned my room had two beds. I was alone for the first two days, then late at night on 18 December I got a roommate. He’d just arrived from a VTL flight and hadn’t been officially confirmed with Omicron just yet, so imagine the surprise he had when I told him I was a confirmed case. He raised an almighty stink with the staff about this, but anyways was confirmed shortly after. 

You might think they’d take pains to keep roommates isolated, but not really. There’s only a thin privacy curtain separating the two beds, and you both share a toilet. That said, I didn’t really mind having a companion. Having someone to talk to really helps with the isolation, since the only interactions you’ll have are with the nurses when they bring you things and the doctor in the morning. 

In terms of symptoms, the first two days were rough. I had body aches, fever, general lethargy. My roommate (who had done his booster) was completely asymptomatic.  So get your vaccines and boosters boys and girls – they really do work.

Over the next couple of days, I noticed NCID getting progressively full. Nurses were being transferred over from TTSH, and more patients were arriving each day. 

Life got much better on 20 December, when I was informed out of the blue that I was going to be relocated to Oasia Hotel Novena, just next door to the NCID. I was under the impression that Omicron cases were strictly kept in NCID, so either they’re facing a capacity crunch, or maybe they just got too many complaints about the quality of accommodation at NCID. Whatever the case, I’m not about to argue with the decision. 

Sora was brought to Oasia in an ambulance with one other person, and I shared a van with six or seven others. 

On arrival at Oasia, we were briefed on the ground rules:

  • No alcohol or cigarettes
  • Food delivery can be ordered and will be sent to the room at designated timeslots, along with any other items from the outside world. Deliveries are at stated times – 6 a.m, 11 a.m, 2 p.m and 8 p.m. That said, the hotel has been really nice and has been making deliveries to my room as and when they come. I think they only enforce these timings when they have a large crowd coming in
  • The government would pick up the tab for the Oasia Hotel stay, although we’d still be responsible for the costs of NCID treatment (TBD- the bill is supposed to be mailed to me. In any case, this can be claimed from your personal health insurance or possibly travel insurance. I used FWD’s COVID-19 travel insurance which covers hospitalisation and gives you an additional $200 per day in cash per day that you’re hospitalised in Singapore)

Unfortunately, you cannot request to share a room with another person unless you’re married to him/her. Boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t cut it- that’s just the way it is. 

However, you may have to shack up with a complete stranger. I know of at least one person in that situation. Leaving aside the fact it’s strange enough to have to bathe, poop and otherwise live in close quarters with someone you’ve never met before, there are practical considerations like work. The room only has a single desk and chair- how are you going to split that? What if one party needs to take a late night conference call? Or consider the personal angle- how can you have a private conversation when there’s someone else always within earshot? What if you simply don’t get along with your roommate?

And no, there’s no option to get your own room even if you’re willing to pay. A friend asked and was rejected immediately.

Oasia Novena Hotel
Oasia Novena Hotel
Oasia Novena Hotel
Oasia Novena Hotel
Oasia Novena Hotel
Oasia Novena Hotel

In terms of routine at Oasia- you wake up, your blood pressure and oxygen levels are taken by a professional, and you take your own temperature. All meals are delivered to a chair outside your door, just like SHN. 

For what it’s worth, the food here is way better than NCID, catered by an outside company called Native Kitchen.

Oasia food
Oasia food

On 23 December, my PCR test from 22 December came back with a CT value of 33. To my surprise, even though I hadn’t met the “two consecutive tests” criteria, I was told that I would be discharged. I asked whether that would take place on the same day, and the nurse informed me that she would check. Subsequently, the Ops team called me and told me that I could only be discharged the next day between 12-5p.m.

I wasn’t about to question that though, and indeed on 24 December at around 2 p.m a knock came at my door and I was told by a member of the staff that I was going to be released immediately. The discharge process was rather unceremonious- no paperwork, no bills, just a discharge memo stating to whom it may concern that I’m no longer infectious.

Discharge memo

I was discharged along with a whole bunch of others, and we were allowed to take any form of transport home.

On the whole, what bothered me most about the entire process was the lack of communication. I found that information wasn’t very forthcoming- for example, I had to proactively ask for CT values from my PCR tests (you’d think they’d tell you this sort of thing).

I did not receive advance notice of many of the things that happened, whether it was getting a roommate (at NCID – I fortunately did not have one at Oasia), my relocation to Oasia or my discharge. Things just happened, and you’re supposed to just accept it (not unlike NS, for those who have had that experience).

Reflections

My “ordeal” lasted 10 days, which might not seem that long in the grand scheme of things- but that’s only with the benefit of hindsight. Remember, when going in you have absolutely no idea how long this is going to last. There’s no roadmap, and the lack of information and updates creates all sorts of anxiety.

There’s also no one to check up on you- to ask how you’re doing, whether you’re having issues with your roommate, whether you need help. Unlike NCID, you do not have a doctor to see every morning. At Oasia, once the door is closed you are pretty much on your own. I’m fine without the coddling and had the benefit of colleagues, friends and siblings texting and sending me food, and work to distract me, but I know there’ll be those who need this kind of support and are not getting it.

We talk about being a nation which is more open and supportive of people with mental health issues, but I felt that my experience was the exact opposite of that – it created an environment of anger, fear, anxiety and helplessness which even strong-willed individuals may find a challenge to stomach. Once again, the very worst part of it all is that there is no fixed date as to when you can leave – it could be 10 days after first PCR, 13 days after first PCR – there is just no way for you to know when you can finally leave the box that is your room. However silly it sounds, there were moments when I genuinely felt that I would never hit that magical number 30 and be stuck at Oasia until at least 2022.

The authorities could have done better to provide adequate support and extend an open line of communications with patients for them to ask questions, extend support and to provide more frequent updates. It bears reminder that behind those statistics, case, NRIC and room numbers are people; individuals who have done nothing wrong but contract a virus.

That being said, to give credit where credit is due, during my stay at Oasia, the front desk receptionist was always helpful and cheerful whenever I called her in the morning to be patched in to the medical team, and the nurse at the swab test station perhaps noted the sadness in my eyes and gave some reassuring words. I am immensely grateful to them for that.

 To date I have yet to receive my bill, so I’m still in the dark as to how much I’m on the hook for my stay at NCID.

Tips 

NCID

  • When packing for NCID, bring instant food like cup noodles and a kettle (with the SAFETY mark, or else it’ll be rejected). It’s not that they don’t have hot water at NCID, it’s just that every time you need something, the nurses will have to fully kit up to enter the room. Try and make their lives easier.
  • Ask for the Malay food at NCID since it’s ever so slightly better
  • During your stay at NCID, you’ll be allowed one and only one visit from the outside to pass you things. Plan what you need carefully because you won’t get another shot at it (fresh food is not allowed, although fruits are fine. Raw eggs for cup noodles are not permitted- I tried)
  • If you’re a workaholic, go ahead and bring your monitor to NCID. No one really cares. 
  • Do note that your “desk” is small – if you’ve been to a hospital before, it’s the tray that sits in front of your bed, but as it moves independently, you can fashion it as a desk. So if you intend to bring a monitor, the maximum size is probably 27 inches. 
  • If you need to work through the night, try and bring a small clip-on light. If you have a roommate, it’s only polite to switch off the main lights at night if they’re not a workaholic like you.
  • I didn’t try to bring in any large electronics like an electric stove, but they’ll probably reject you as there are oxygen tanks in the walls and so there is a real risk of a fire occurring due to a short circuit. NCID’s website does state what you can and cannot bring in – don’t spoil it for the rest of us by being unreasonable.
  • There’s the usual 2 in 1 shampoo + soap dispenser, but you probably want your own.
  • Bring blankets, a pillowcase and a bedsheet if you are icky about these things – they give you a pillow “cover” and the usual government-issued blanket which the boys who have done reservist at ITI will know what I’m talking about. The room can get cold, but you can adjust the thermostat to 24 degrees. Bring your own towel as well as the hospital’s one is thin.
  • NCID offers you hospital attire to wear, but I don’t think anyone uses it.
  • There is one television overhead with free to air channels, but no one uses it.
  • Bring moisturiser – the air can get quite dry and everything will start cracking. A Vicks inhaler will also be useful for those times when you wake up in cold sweat thinking you lost your sense of smell.

Oasia

  • Try to pack as efficiently as possible to make your move to Oasia as smooth as possible. No one will help you carry your personal belongings for obvious reasons. Rolling luggage is a plus.
  • Oasia does not have a laundry service, so you should be prepared for that in terms of your clothes and bedding.
  • Oasia’s cups are pretty small, so it may be a good idea to bring your own. They also do not wash them for you to minimize contact between you and their staff (which is very understandable). Just bring a small sponge and some dishwashing liquid and you will be good to go.
  • If you have the misfortune of having a roommate at Oasia, be prepared to have a conversation with them about sharing the sole desk if you have to work. If not, Netflix and chill may be your only option.
  • Oasia has pretty good free open Wi-Fi – I had no issues with internet calls etc.

Conclusion

So that’s Kevin’s experience with testing positive for Omicron on return to Singapore, which should hopefully give you an idea of what to expect should the same fate befall you. 

If you have questions on the experience for Kevin, leave a note in the comments and he’ll answer them as and when he can. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Jake

Definitely good to know. Hope the both of them remain well and get out soon! Was wondering what would the cost of the isolation come up to.

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – thanks for your well wishes. Not sure how much the cost for NCID will be as they told me that the bill will be sent to my home. I’ll update when I get the chance to check it myself or if I can get someone to help with the mailbox. Cost of stay at Oasia will be borne by the government as I am a Singapore citizen.

anon

This is different from the normal(other variants right?).

The other variants can just rest at home?

Tom

He need to pay for COVID treatment despite being double vaccinated? Is it because he is considered an imported case, or is it because he is not a citizen nor PR?

Last edited 9 months ago by Tom
Kevin

Hi – Kevin here. I was told the NCID bill will be sent to my home (yet to check as I’m still at Oasia), but the stay at Oasia will be borne by the government. I am a Singapore citizen. I am probably made to pay the NCID bill as I am deemed to have contracted Omicron whilst travelling. Hope this helps.

Tom

Hi Kelvin, thanks for your reply. Hope you get well soon!

Fiona Tay

Even though you have to pay for your NCID charges, the fees will still be highly subsidised so you will pay much less than a pass holder.

Mike

Is the process (and costs) same for short-term tourists visiting Singapore?

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – I am not entirely sure, but I suspect so. I did see a number of foreigners at NCID, and I was transferred with them to Oasia. To be fair, we did not get the chance to interact, so I am only guessing that they are foreigners as they are caucasian (and so I may be mistaken). In terms of costs, the staff at Oasia did inform me that non-Singaporean citizens will have to pay for their stay here, but not Singaporean citizens (costs borne by the Government). As a disclaimer, we all know that this is… Read more »

Freddy

I guess that citizens and PRs will get some subsidy for the stay at NCID. Long-term and short-term pass holders will not get any. Let’s wait for Kevin’s update once he gets the bill.

Sha

I used to work under the foodservice department in a hospital. Indian and Malay cuisine are the only acceptable food to eat in my opinion 😂. Chinese and Western cuisine can be a hit or miss.

Gina

I noted that you only did an ART in London. From this experience, do you think it’s better to take PCR, to know for sure? ART might not be effective to detect omicron? If you know you have Omicron, it might be better to self isolate in London until you are fully recovered before coming back to Sg? Any thoughts?

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – at that point in time, the prevailing regulations only required us to do a supervised ART prior to boarding and the results came back negative. We presented no symptoms until after we came back to Singapore and we so we only realised we were positive after we got our on-arrival PCR test results in Singapore. I am no medical expert and I cannot comment on whether ART can or cannot detect Omicron, but I do agree with you that if we had tested positive in London, we would have stayed in London until we had recovered.

Alian

For the SHN Hotel stay for Singaporeans I think because stay home rest is default so if they ask you to stay in SHN hotel because of omicron the gov would foot the bill for Singaporeans.

Mike

Hey Kelvin! I hope you are doing well. May I know the cost of the hotel and NCID, and are you required by law to do testing? Does NCID offer Monoclonal Antibody Treatment? And when are you allowed to get out of the hotel?

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – I am not sure how much the NCID bill will be as I was just informed that it will be sent to my home via mail. On the bill for the hotel, i was informed when I was brought here that the government would foot the bill as I am a Singapore citizen. On the testing – I assume you mean the PCR test once every 3 days here – I am not sure whether it is compulsory or not, but it is in my interest to do it, as I can only leave if I… Read more »

PK

Take care and get well soon Kevin! Also wondering, if it was non-VTL flight, how come u needed to take a PCR upon arrival? I came back from the US on non-VTL and went straight home, and only took 1 PCR towards the end of my SHN

Gerald

Hey Kevin, thanks for the sharing. wishing you a speedy recovery and high CT score

WLKW

Take care Kevin! Speedy recovery too! Thank you for sharing. This is an often not mentioned aspect of travelling during the pandemic. I’m in Bangkok at the moment. While your article has struck fear momentarily into me (my wife abd kids are with me), but it helps me tremendously in terms of preparation. Like another reader’s comment begore me, now I’m wondering if I should do a pcr test as a pdt in bkk or art instead. Either way, it comes with either isolation in a foreign country in a hotel of your choice (assuming asymtomatic) or opting for the… Read more »

Alian

I’m in bkk too and wondered the same. However pcr is also not a guarantee. PDT could still be negative n arrival could end up positive. Thailand omicron chance would be lower than London and in the worst case one could end up with Delta in bkk and then get omicron in the airport or plane (I know I paint a super bad picture) so in the end our choice is ART in bkk n keep finger crossed on arrive PCR.

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – this is not an easy question to answer, but let me try my best. I think that most travellers assume the very best and we would take do the bare minimum to board our flight. Most of us are generally optimistic and no one that i know would go out of their way to “detect” whether or not they are Covid positive (as we assume that we are not), unless of course they present symptoms. With that in mind, if I had tested positive in London via my supervised ART testing, would I have stayed in… Read more »

anna

Exactly my experience as well. Have you been informed that you may get a room mate at Oasia Hotel as well (i.e. in “Bed 2”)? I was informed that this may happen and MOH will decide. The room only has a single desk and is quite small so hard to see how two strangers could live here…

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – not yet! This is news for me and I share the same concern as you.

tikopeh

what an adventure. get well soon!

Johnny

Hey Kelvin, wish you a speedy recovery. Is contact tracing required by law? I don’t really feel comfortable letting other people know where I go? Also, why is there another bed in the hotel, is there a roommate?

Matrix.RX1

TeaceTogether is compulsory in SG

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – no I do not really know whether or not I have to legally answer the contact teacher’s queries. That being said, I do recommend that you do to the best of your abilities. The reason being that although I’m no Doctor, from personal experience I can see that Omicron spreads really, really quickly. The volume of patients at NCID is testament to that. I think it is in our collective interest to let the contact tracers do their job to keep our friends and family in SG safe. On a more practical note, I did not… Read more »

Bubbles

Just don’t go to KTVs, geylang or your mistress’s house.

Anyway do a google for “Hu Jun” and “Shi Sha”.

“MOH reminds the public that under the Infectious Diseases Act, it is an offence under the law for anyone to withhold or provide inaccurate information to MOH officials during contact tracing. MOH views such actions seriously and will not hesitate to take appropriate action against the perpetrators.”

Michael

This sounds like a complete nightmare, especially coming from the relative sanity you’d have observed in London. Hope you are out soon Kevin.

D K

Hi – 2 questions (sorry that it may come across as insensitive)

1. Shouldn’t all cost be paid by travel insurance?

2. What card to use to foot the bill for maximum miles :p :p

Last edited 9 months ago by D K
Kevin

Hi Kevin here – I can only answer Question 1 and will have to leave Question 2 to the experts (i.e. the Milelion). My FWD Covid-19 policy only covers hospitalisation in Singapore (i.e. my stay at NCID will be covered), but not the subsequent stay at Hotel Oasia. You may be able to find another one insurance policy online that covers mandated quarantine at hotels, but I must confess that I don’t know of any. However, my stay at Hotel Oasia is covered by the Government as I am a Singapore citizen, so all in I should not be out… Read more »

D K

Thanks Kevin for sharing your experience. Hope you and your gf recover well. :))

bent

Even if your travel insurance does not cover hospitalisation in SG (for NCID expenses), Singaporeans should be able to tap on own private health insurance right (assuming one bought). Kevin, would you have any idea what the bill at NCID racked up to?

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – No clue to be honest. I wrote to the TTSH billing department to ask for an electronic bill – no response as yet. I am hearing from others stuck here that it the cost to stay at NCID is about S$1k for Singaporeans, but I will update when i get the actual bill. I just want to be clear that I suspect that the bill may vary depending on how long you were actually stuck at NCID.

bent

Thanks Kevin. I read from ST FAQ that Singaporeans can tap on private insurance to cover the cost…but best to check with your own insurer: Q: What financing arrangements are available for Covid-19 patients who have to foot their own medical bills?A: Covid-19 patients may tap on regular healthcare financial arrangements for their inpatient medical bills, where applicable. Singaporeans and PRs may access government subsidies, MediSave, and MediShield Life or Integrated Shield plans to help pay for their bills. Actually, I am surprised that gov is footing the bill for stay in Oasia, given that they said they will not foot… Read more »

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – Yup I was expressly told by a member of the staff when I was processed into Oasia.

One possible reason could be that the policy at that time was that if you contracted Covid-19, you recovered at home. That changed with Omicron without notice, and so the Government may have modified the policy for now in order to prevent people from screaming blue murder. I would not expect this to carry on for long.

Dickson

Hi Kevin, ever since you and Sora got first tested positive PCR, have either of you tried testing yourself using an ART self test kit? I’m just wondering if Omicron can be detected via ART, not just PCR. Thx for sharing & wish you speedy recovery!!

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – thanks very much for the well wishes. Nope we have not tried sorry (as we don’t have ART self test kits).

Z H

Hi, I am in the same situation as Kevin, and I tried experimenting on the ART kit after testing positive for on arrival PCR. My ART results were still negative.

L S

I can answer this too since I was pre-departure ART negative but PCR positive for my VTL.

I tested with ART after my positive PCR, and it was negative.

bent

yikes, so ART may not be capable of picking up Omicron (but this was something that we prob were aware of as well i guess)

Echa Mtao

My mil was tested positive a day before departure into Singapore. FIL n BIL decided to take the jump n return to SG as their pcr was negative. However on arrival, FIL pcr was positive. he was taken by the ambulance to Alexander Hospital the next say due to age. We were advise its Omicron for his case. FYI MIL did an ART test with QuickVue brand the 2 days after her positive PCR. The ART test came out positive. BIL negative on 2nd day ART with i donno which brand. Then positive w 2nd pcr after he went to… Read more »

A tan

This is the type of cb ppl that bring risk to all ppl sharing the plane with them.

John doe

👏👏 irresponsible as f, what’s the chances of ur fil who share the same bed as ur mil get covid as well?

Echa Sai

Typical jerks who know there is a real chance of them already being infected but still “take the jump n return to SG”. And probably sabo some people seating near them to get quarantined also. Idiotic.

Edm

Doesn’t that mean that mean that your fil and bil declared under the travel declaration that they were a close contact of a positive covid case? If so wouldn’t sia not allow them on? Quite puzzled

Echa Mtao

The airline dont chk ur HD details. In fact the airline was informed their booking have to be ameded as 1 was positive. U are allowed to amend ur health declaration up to the last min of ur flt. so thats wat they did. declare they were in close contact. I was at the airport and saw the form. i was quite surprise tho. We hve tried to stop them warning them that they could possibly drag the whole plane with them which includes my 14yo! But their arguement was if they are not allowed to enter it will say… Read more »

Last edited 9 months ago by Echa Mtao
Seamus Lim

Hi Kevin, thanks much for sharing your story. This is good information for everyone to keep in mind, especially for those who are travelling overseas right now. Wishing you speedy recovery and high CT counts. Take care!

kopi lim

Wah kaoz, tio Covid leow still need to work? Moi will just lie in bed and shake leg, 14 days sick leave must use until gao gao

Sully

I’m awaiting info from MOH after being told I was positive. I really don’t want to go to the hotel. It seems like it’s just for Omicron variant, not any other. But how could they tell you had Omicron – does the PCR test show that, or was it only through further testing?

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – apparently they can tell based on your on-arrival PCR test. One of the doctors at NCID did explain to me how it was done (something about viral load etc.), but I honestly forgot. If there is a Doctor who is reading this who can explain better, that would be helpful. All the best and I hope its not Omicron for you! If there is a silver lining to this, I am hearing that new patients are skipping NCID and going straight to Oasia Hotel. If that is true, that is somewhat better as you at least… Read more »

Dickson

Yes, the PCR test can tell if it’s Omicron. The signature is S gene dropout or missing when the PCR is positive. https://www.who.int/news/item/26-11-2021-classification-of-omicron-(b.1.1.529)-sars-cov-2-variant-of-concern

Meglyn

Thank you for your kind consideration to the nurses! Hope you test >30 soon!

Dicn

Hi Kevin,
Not sure if what the oasia staff told you is totally correct, because the non-citizens are also being told that the government will cover the hotel isolation bill for them also. However, it’s true that non-citizens have to bear the full cost of ncid.

Hope you get better soon and can be discharged. Best wishes!

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – thanks for the update, and I appreciate the clarification! It’s always good to hear from my fellow comrades in isolation.

Dimmy

Great article. Easy to read and peppered humour was engaging. Thanks for the tip, Justin case. But praying never need to go through it. Glad to hear Kevin survived.

Natalie

Anyone knows how isolation at NCID is like for a family (2 adults 2 kids)? Will we be separated? We are all Sg citizens. TIA!

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – one piece of news that I’m hearing is that they are now conveying new Omicron cases directly to Oasia Hotel (and not to NCID). Going by your example, I think what they will likely do is split your family of four up into two different rooms (as it is two beds per room). I am not sure if you can request that everyone stays together, but you can certainly try.

Natalie

ah I see, thanks Kevin

FSM

Nice write up.Get well soon.That food looks about par for the course ( I work in a restructured hospital ) .

Counti

Hey. I will be flying to Singapur next week via VTL. In case of a positive PCR test for the omicron variant will all passengers on the plane have to go into quarantine?

Bob's Your Uncle

Hi! From what I’ve heard from a friend (who was onboard a plane with a Omicron positive case, and is now quarantining in a facility as a “close contact”), no, the whole plane won’t be quarantined but only those deemed to have interacted and been near the infected passenger. How that is defined isn’t clear. In any case, it’s a matter of luck because no one knows who will have the virus.

Counti

Thank you for your answer. It is annoying that there is no clear definition on what a close contact is. I guess crossing my fingers and hope for the best is all I can do.

Matrix.RX1

I was wondering if contact tracing onboard is done equally among all travel classes? I mean if one is in Suites, the distance in much different from Economy or do I get that wrong?

Lenard

It scary.. Thk for sharing..

Mike

Great that you can spend Christmas with friends and family and can enjoy some freedom. It would be really sad to hear that you will need to spend Christmas in some quarantine

Benny

‘not to leave the house under any circumstances.’ So if there was a fire in your house you can’t leave your house to escape?

John doe

Use common sense dude! Unless you don’t have one!

beezelbub

What a dumb question

Dunstan

Hi Kevin, great tips and accurate report – thanks for shedding light on it. As I’m also under isolation in Oasia, do you have details of the FWD insurance as I think I have the same one as you? I am told that I cannot claim for hospitalisation costs.

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – Yes! Please see below. This is an FAQ on the policy which i bought. You should be able to find a similar statement in the actual policy itself (i.e. that FWD will cover hospitalisation within 14 days of your return to SG)

https://help.fwd.com.sg/hc/en-us/articles/4410175107353-Will-FWD-s-COVID-19-Enhanced-Travel-Benefits-add-on-cover-me-if-I-test-positive-for-COVID-19-but-am-not-hospitalised-

For the avoidance of doubt, your stay at Oasia hotel should not be deemed “hospitalisation”, but do let us all know if you manage to get around that (and so the FWD policy should only cover your stay at NCID if you were conveyed there).

Kathy

Thanks for the information! I will be flying out to Singapore beginning of January and have just been diagnosed with COVID, do you know if people get exempt from SHN when they have proof they just had it and can’t carry and spread the virus anymore?
Merry Christmas!

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – that is a very good question and unfortunately I do not have this information. What I can say is that (1) please make sure that you have a confirmation in writing from MOH before you arrive and (2) please keep track of developments as their policy may change (and so what they tell you on Day X may not apply on Day X + 1). One point of caution is that I am hearing that Omicron has a risk of re-infection (even if you previously caught it), and so a proof of prior exposure to Covid… Read more »

Kris

Thanks for the informative read Kevin. If family members of an Omicron case need to be quarantined as well, do you know the duration of their quarantine and whether costs are also covered by the government?

I understand quarantine is typically 10 days but was wondering if it’s 10 days from when the close contacts (family) are taken into quarantine or 10 days from when the infected they were exposed to tested positive.

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – Unfortunately I do not have first hand information on this as Sora and I went straight to her apartment upon arrival, which only housed her and myself. I am hearing from friends that it is the latter (i.e. 10 days from when the infected were exposed), but as this is second hand information, you may want to confirm this with MOH. I am also hearing that the government are covering the costs for Singapore citizens (not sure about foreign nationals). If anyone reading this can help, please do feel free to correct me if i am… Read more »

Cal

NCID sound like military ran facility just reading the draconian details

JHH

Hi Kevin, on arrival at Oasia (or at any point during your quarantine) did they issue you any physical isolation order? And did it contain the dates of your isolation period?

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – Yes they did! I received a new physical Isolation Order when i arrived at Oasia. It stated that I was to isolate from 20 Dec to 4 January at Oasia. Upon discharge from Oasia, I received another piece of paper which told me that this Isolation Order was cancelled.

JHH

Thanks Kevin! Good to know they discharged you earlier than stated. I guess they performed the PCR test for you in-room? Did you have to request this or did they come automatically?

confused

I tested PCR positive on arrival into Changi Airport but have been ART negative so far. It’s been more than 1 day since I’ve arrived, but I have yet to receive my Isolation Order so it’s a bit confusing now. While they told me my CT load is high, they said they are not sure what variant I have.

Was it a similar turnaround time between the time you were PCR positive and when your order was issued, Kevin?

Thanks in advance.

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – Our turnaround time was pretty fast – We arrived early morning on the 14th and I received my first Isolation Order either on the same day or early the next day via courier. I suspect that given the increasing number of cases and the holiday period, MOH may be taking slightly longer during this period and I suggest that you keep in close contact with the contact tracers who reached out to you. They were my main point of contact for updates prior to being conveyed to NCID. Hope this helps and wishing you a swift… Read more »

confused

Hi Kevin, thanks so much for your reply! Since my original post, I have been served my isolation order (hand-delivered by Certis Cisco) along with a care-pack. Agree w you that it has been contact tracers that have been most in touch so far. For anyone who are in the same situation – they also have your CT count value. That’ll give you an indication of your viral load so do ask them! Variant testing takes a while longer, fingers crossed now! Though I’m not sure why the extremity of ringfencing Omicron even though we are wanting to treat COVID-19… Read more »

Kai

Hi, May I know where’s your isolation order as your CT is high? Thank you so much

confused

home for now!

Juliana

I think most people don’t think about the fact that they can be COVID positive when they embark on overseas travel. However as a healthcare professional I am acutely aware of this and have weighed the risks when I went overseas recently. While I feel that the report was a true reflection of what most Singaporeans feel, I know that the situation in NCID is way way better than what you will get in some hospitals in Singapore and even more in other countries ( if you so happen to be tested positive in a foreign country). to put things… Read more »

may

Hi Kevin, we are a family of 4 – 2a and 2c. We got sent to KKh. I am not even sure how the cost is going to work out for us. Please update on your ncid bill when you receive it.

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – Yes I will! I emailed TTSH billing and I got a curious email to say that I do not have a bill yet. I intend to follow up on Monday.

I’m sorry to hear that your family has been conveyed, and i hope you are able to recover and get out soon!

Wayne

Kevin – you are tested Omicron positive. Wondering if you should consider why you have put yourself at risk. And having brought the virus back to Singapore,be a bit more understanding that the authorities have to isolate you until they are sure you are cleared to protect public health. You are not a vulnerable individual.

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – thanks Wayne, your comment is noted.

Jon

Hi Kevin. Thank you for sharing.

Any idea how you might caught it?

Were u wearing ffp2 masks all the way in airport and on the plane?

Kevin

Hi Kevin here – not sure how I caught it, but if I am a betting man, I would say somewhere in London. We took all precautions and wore medical masks everywhere.

Vic

Hi Kevin, thanks for this informative story. Out of curiosity, at what point did you learn you were infected with Omicron (and hence had to be conveyed out) and not another variant ? I’m wondering when do you know if you need to go to the quarantine facility (NCIF or Oasia) vs serve the Home Recovery programme ?
Thanks and happy to know you’re out !

JHH

These are all answered in his post. The very next day he was sent to NCID, so he knew he had Omicron

Angie

Hi Kevin, I hope you are all recovered!This is useful information, although I must say I am puzzled as to why you seem to be applying the same standards as you would a hotel. The NCID is not a hotel and you were a patient. Perhaps you should be evaluating it on the basis of other hospitals – the food for instance (a gastronomical experience is not part of the hospitality package in hospitals as far as I am aware). I don’t know (and no offence intended) but notwithstanding that the information was useful, the whole article gives off a… Read more »

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