IT Engineer Declined Covid-19 Test Despite Runny Nose, He’s The Sole Community Case On 12 Mar

Work-Pass Holder’s Infection Found After Pre-Departure Test, MOH Urges All To Get Tested If Advised By Doctor

Nowadays, when people fall sick with symptoms like runny nose or fever, the 1st thing that springs to mind would be: Do I have Covid-19?

Unsurprisingly, a doctor would think the same thing and want to administer a Covid-19 test.

However, apparently you can decline to be tested even when a doctor wants to test you.

Photo for illustration purposes only.

That’s what an IT engineer did, despite having a runny nose.

He was the sole community case of Covid-19 reported on Friday (12 Mar).

10 cases of Covid-19 on 12 Mar

In a news release on Friday (12 Mar), the Ministry of Health (MOH) reported 10 new cases of Covid-19 in Singapore.

9 of them were imported, but 1 was a community case – for the 2nd day in a row.

He’s now been revealed to be a 36-year-old male Indian national.

The work-pass holder is an IT Engineer at Deutsche Bank.



IT engineer arrived from India on 16 Jan

The IT engineer arrived in Singapore from India on 16 Jan.

He served his Stay-Home Notice (SHN) as required at a dedicated facility till 30 Jan.

A Covid-19 test he took on 29 Jan, while on SHN, came out negative.

That means it’s unlikely that he was infected in India, and thus isn’t an imported case.

He developed runny nose on 1 Mar

However, the IT engineer developed a runny nose on 1 Mar – a month after he finished his SHN.

Thankfully, he went to a general practitioner clinic on the same day, in order to seek medical treatment.


However, he declined to take a Covid-19 test.

The doctor thus gave him 5 days’ medical leave, and also told him to come back to get a Covid-19 test if he didn’t recover.

MOH didn’t say whether he came back for a test or not.

He took a pre-departure test before trip back to India

The IT engineer was subsequently supposed to take a trip back to India for some reason.

In order to do so, he had to take a Covid-19 test before departure.

So he finally took a test on 11 Mar, and it came back positive on the same day.

He was sent to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID) in an ambulance.


The man was also deemed as Case 60831, an unlinked community case.


As his serological test result also came back positive, it’s likely to be a past infection, MOH said.

He WFH since arriving in Singapore

There’s a bright spot in this story: The IT engineer had been working from home (WFH) since arriving in Singapore.

Thus, the likelihood that he could have infected his colleagues is lowered.

However, there’s still a chance that he could have infected his household contacts and others he might have come into contact with in the community.

Thus, all his close contacts have been isolated and placed under quarantine, MOH said.

They will also be given serological tests to determine if he was infected by any of them.

MOH urges people to get tested if advised by doctor

MOH has urged people to get tested for Covid-19 if a doctor advises them to do so.

This is even if you’re showing only early or mild symptoms.

That’s because you could still be infected, and getting tested earlier will greatly reduce the risk that you pass the virus on to others.

Everyone has to play a part

Covid-19 is a tricky virus, and will find a way to break through any gap in containment measures.

If people suffer symptoms of the virus but don’t seek medical treatment, they’re more likely to infect others.

Likewise, if you seek treatment but decline to be tested, you may infect people that you wouldn’t have infected if you were tested earlier.

So do play your part and follow MOH advise to seek treatment and get tested, to protect the community from the disease.

Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at

Featured image adapted from Mufid Majnun @ Unsplash. Photo for illustration purposes only.

Jeremy Lee

Analog person making do with a digital world.

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