With the rapid rise of cases in Singapore, hospitals can offer only so much space to accommodate the patients. Due to this, the Ministry of Health (MOH) had to find alternative care to avoid overcrowding in hospitals.
This led to the start of the Home Recovery Programme (HRP) that is designed for fully vaccinated patients that tested positive for COVID-19 cases and only present mild or no symptoms.
As of September 10, home recovery has become the default care management protocol for fully vaccinated patients to reserve hospital resources for more severe cases.
Whether you are planning to travel during the pandemic or stay in Singapore – this guide will hopefully shed some light on what to expect should you present COVID-19 symptoms and need to be put under HRP.
Before the Home Recovery Programme
What should I do if I suspect I may be a carrier of COVID-19?
If you suspect that you may be asymptomatic, it is best to use the ART (Antigen Rapid Test) Self-Test kit to put your mind at ease. Should you test positive for COVID-19, do self-isolate in your room and monitor your health for 72 hours.
You are strongly encouraged to stop going to work and forgo your social activities at this point in time. This is to protect your loved ones and others from the possible spread of COVID-19.
During this time, make sure you maintain proper hygiene measures, including wiping bathroom surfaces after every use, wearing a mask when you leave your room, and maintaining good ventilation in your home. As much as possible, do not socialise with your family members. Once 72 hours have passed, you should then take another ART test.
If your results come out negative, you can carry on with your daily activities. However, if the results turn out to be positive, you will have to keep up with the self-isolation and continue taking the ART test at least one day apart. Upon testing negative, you can then end the self-isolation.
However, if you start to show symptoms that match the checklist of symptoms for COVID-19, please visit your nearest Swab and Send Home (SASH) clinic. A PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test is required should you:
- Show symptoms of acute respiratory infection (e.g. fever, cough or runny nose)
- Work in the healthcare or education sector
- Attend childcare or primary school
- Are above 80 years old
What should I do if I test positive in the PCR test?
Should you test positive for PCR, even if you do not show any symptoms, immediately do the following:
- Isolate yourself from other household members. If possible, stay put in a room that has an attached bathroom. Refrain from mingling with anyone.
- You should not step out of your house. There is no need to visit the hospital or dial 995.
- Do not panic and keep monitoring your health. Should you have any symptoms such as a high fever or shortness of breath, contact a telemedicine provider or a participating GP.
An SMS will also be sent to you regarding your positive result and the Isolation Order (IO). If you are eligible for the Home Recovery Programme, a link will be given for you to provide the necessary information and register your household members as close contacts.
In the meantime, your housemates will receive a Health Risk Warning (HRW) and have their own set of procedures to follow. Later, you will be assigned a Home Recovery Buddy, who will serve as your guide to bring you on board the HRP.
During the Home Recovery Programme
When you are under the Home Recovery Programme, you can access the following two resources:
- If you need medical assistance, request an online medical consultation with an online doctor in Singapore or a cooperating GP.
- For non-medical assistance, telephone 6874 4939 to get in touch with a Home Recovery Buddy.
Make sure to practice good hygiene by washing your hands frequently with water and soap. Moreover, you should regularly check your temperature, pulse rate and oxygen saturation daily. It is not necessary to report your readings.
When can I be discharged?
For individuals who are fully vaccinated or children below the age of 12, you will be discharged on Day 10.
For unvaccinated individuals who are 12 years old or older, you will be discharged on Day 14.
On the day that you are discharged, a memo will be given via SMS as proof of recovery. In both cases, a PCR test is not mandatory.
After the Home Recovery Programme
What should I do after being discharged?
Once you have been discharged, you can resume your daily activities. Remember to disinfect your room and abide by any safety measures.
If you still feel unwell, you should visit the closest GP clinic for a further diagnosis. Do inform the doctor of your recovery process by presenting them with the original IO or the discharge memo given via SMS.
What else should I take note of?
However, the following people are exceptions to the rule as they are not qualified for the Home Recovery Programme:
- Partially or unvaccinated individuals above 50 years old
- Vaccinated people that are 80 years and older
- Toddlers aged less than 1 year
- Children aged 1 to 4 years who have been declared clinically unsuitable for home recovery.
If I do not qualify for the HRP, what should I do next?
If you have tested positive in the PCR test and do not qualify for HRP, you should immediately isolate yourself from the other members of the household. Preferably, isolate yourself in a room that has a connected bathroom and do not leave your house.
You should receive an SMS with your official Isolation Order (IO) during the next few days. You are required to fill in the relevant details and list your household members as close contacts. They will then receive a Health Risk Warning and have their own sets of procedures to complete.
You should expect a call within the next few days regarding a transfer to the appropriate care facility. While waiting, continue to monitor your health in an isolated room. The care facility that you are residing in will then be in charge of your discharge.
Should you have any medical concerns regarding the recovery procedure, don’t worry! As Singapore’s leading telehealth app and telemedicine provider, you can now easily get in touch and consult an online doctor while waiting to get onboard HRP – download the MyCLNQ app and start accessing a range of medical services today!