S'pore woman, 28, keeps testing ART positive for 12 days straight

Some have tested positive for 20 days straight, but it's not a cause for concern, said an expert.

Fiona Tan | March 17, 2022, 04:54 PM

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A 28-year-old woman in Singapore tested positive for Covid-19 on her antigen rapid test (ART) kits for 12 consecutive days.

Dare not leave room

According to Chinese daily Shin Min Daily News, the woman, surnamed Lim, administered an ART test on herself after she felt the symptoms of a sore throat on Feb. 23.

She also went to a clinic to get herself tested later in the day.

Both tests came back positive.

Lim's infection showed no signs of waning, and she continued to test positive for the next 12 days.

During that period, Lim told Shin Min that she did not dare to leave her room.

MOH's protocols

Based on the Ministry of Health's latest Covid-19 protocols and measures, Lim would have been able to exit her self-isolation phase after seven days on March 1, positive test result or not.

However, Lim chose to continue isolating and worked from home for the next five or so days.

This was for two reasons.

One, she did not want to risk transmitting the disease to her elderly mother, and two, she was still suffering from the symptoms of the virus.

According to Lim, her ART tests still reflected a strong solid test line and she was experiencing a sore throat and mild fever.

For greater peace of mind, Lim remained in her room until she finally tested negative on her ART test around 12 days later.

Image from SMDN/Facebook.

Employees returning to work after seven days due to manpower shortage

Separately, employees have been allowed to return to work after isolating for seven days, despite them testing positive for Covid-19.

These arrangements were made in response to manpower shortages, as told to SMDN by the owners of Woobbee and OK Chicken Rice.

The owners said those employees who still tested positive but have completed their seven-day self-isolation will be arranged to only work together with employees who have recovered from Covid-19.

The boss of OK Chicken Rice added that his employees are advised to change their masks every few hours and to avoid wearing cloth masks.

Test positive for 20 days in extreme scenarios

Lim's experience might not be out of the ordinary, as experts have told Shin Min of an instance where an individual tested positive for 20 consecutive days.

While these individuals may test positive for longer than usual, the experts said the risk of these individuals transmitting the virus is extremely low after seven days, and drops to zero after 10 days.

Additionally, as Omicron has been found to have less severe symptoms, employees can return to work after completing their self-isolation even though they are ART positive, said another expert.

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Top image from Shin Min Daily News/Facebook and by @onderontel from Unsplash