Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Lunch Actually, Violet Lim shared her experience of being a COVID-19 patient on Facebook and claimed she was shocked when her test for the COVID-19 came out positive on 26 March despite washed hands regularly and avoided crowded places.
As of 26 March, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has confirmed an additional 52 cases of COVID-19 infection in Singapore, of which 28 are imported cases and 24 are local cases.
MOH noted that the 28 imported cases had a travel history to Europe, North America, the Middle East, ASEAN and other parts of Asia. All except two were returning residents and Long Term Pass holders.
Of those 28 imported cases, Ms Lim was Case 667 and identified as an imported case who had been to the United States (US). She is also a family member of Case 772, the Straits Times reported.
Although there were not much details about her case on the MOH’s website on 26 March, Ms Lim decided to come forward and shared her experience being a COVID-19 patient on Facebook on 2 April.
In her Facebook post, Ms Lim highlighted that ever since the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Singapore, she has been cautious to wash and disinfect hands regularly, she avoided crowded places and even canceled her 40th birthday celebration in February.
Her company had also arranged for onsite and offsite teams in mid-February amid the outbreak.
“Jamie and I are on the offsite team and hence we have not been back to our office nor met up with any of our client-facing team members since mid-Feb,” Ms Lim stated.
However, on 26 March, Ms Lim woke up at 2am with a throbbing headache and felt an ‘unfamiliar tightness’ in her chest. She also experienced shortness of breath when she walked 5m away from her bed to get a cup of water.
“I was not panting or hyperventilating, but I felt distinctly a slight difficulty in breathing,” she said.
Later on, she went to see her General Practitioner (GP) who examined Ms Lim and her travel history. She was then given a letter of referral to be tested in the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID).
At 6pm, she arrived at the NCID and was put into a queue with black crosses marked on the floor to ensure the gap of at least 1m away from other people.
Ms Lim described her experience at NCID where she took an electrocardiogram (ECG), an X-ray, and a nose swab. She also mentioned about the upbeat medical staff in NCID.
“As my X-ray was clear, they sent me off and told me to wait at home for my swab results. If it was positive, I would get a call within 24 hours. If it was negative, they would SMS me within 48 hours,” she noted.
Ms Lim received a call from NCID the following day and she was told that her test result for the COVID-19 came out positive.
“I could not believe my ears. My heart sank. I was in shock,” Ms Lim noted. She was asked to pack her bag with two sets of clothes, toiletries and other necessities.
Ms Lim also informed her husband and children about the news, and she asked them to get tested as well. The ambulance arrived within an hour and she was escorted by the ambulance driver dressed in a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“Once I boarded the ambulance, he told me politely that I have to sit at the end of the ambulance to keep a 1m distance away from him. He was very apologetic and shared that it was the procedure,” Ms Lim asserted.
As they arrived at the hospital, she was escorted to Ward 5F. She added, “I changed into the hospital gown and sat on my hospital bed still reeling from shock and disbelief. I couldn’t process and believe what has just happened in the last 36 hours.”