9-year-old son unable to serve home quarantine order as family of 4 share 1 bedroom: Singapore dad

A Singaporean dad spent two worry-filled nights after his 9-year-old son was issued with a quarantine order, but there was only one hitch — their home has just one bedroom shared by the family of four.

The 51-year-old accountant, surnamed Liang, spoke to Shin Min Daily News on Thursday (July 29) to share his experience. 

What happens when one is served a quarantine order but they do not have a spare room for self-isolation?

Liang, whose son is a Primary 3 pupil at Pei Chun Public School, said that the 9-year-old son was issued with a quarantine order for 12 days after three cases of Covid-19 were found at his school.

Liang told the Chinese evening daily that the school’s principal had informed parents in a letter on Saturday (July 24) that two pupils had been affected. 

According to reports, the affected pupils were from the school’s Primary 3 and 6 classes. The two cases, who were not related, were last in school on July 16.

In another update on Monday (July 26), the principal informed parents that a third student who was a close contact of the Primary 3 pupil had tested positive after being swabbed.

On Tuesday, Liang said that his wife received a message from the Ministry of Health (MOH) that the boy would have to be placed under quarantine at home for 12 days.

According to MOH, people under quarantine may serve their quarantine orders at home, but are required to isolate in their own rooms. During their home quarantine, they should not come into contact with other family or household members to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

However, Liang was faced with another problem — the walls of the three bedrooms in their home had been torn down to form one large bedroom — which Liang and his wife share with their son and daughter, who’s 17.

As a result, there was no room for their son to self-quarantine.

Liang expressed that he had contacted MOH after receiving the message to explain his situation. Over the call, Liang requested that he be able to stay with his son at an isolation facility or hotel room for the duration of the quarantine period.

But according to Liang, the person on the hotline only told him that the arrangement will be made over the next two days, leaving the family to anxiously await notification.

During that time, Liang said that the family’s daily routine was thrown into disarray as all four of them observed the quarantine order. HIs daughter stayed home and did not attend school while his wife, who’s a homemaker, was unable to go over to her 90-year-old mum’s place to cook her meals as she would usually do.

At about 10pm on Thursday (July 29), a message finally came from MOH, stating that arrangements have been made for the boy to complete the rest of their quarantine at a hotel. Liang accompanied the boy while his wife and daughter stayed at home but were not required to isolate.

Liang also added that the rest of his family did not receive notification that they had to undergo any tests for the virus.