When Singaporean influencer – and former DJ who’s now a healthcare worker – Jade Rasif published her Instagram Stories on May 17 regarding her Covid-19 health scare, many people were left questioning the systems in place for quarantining overseas arrivals, particularly when it comes to Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs).
Her story highlighted her experience with an MDW from Indonesia she recently employed, and gained enough traction to warrant an official response from MOM.
The arrival and shortened SHN
The MDW arrived Singapore on April 11, and was supposed to serve a 14-day quarantine, as per protocol. Rasif posted on her IG Stories that the family paid $2,500 for the 2-week Stay Home Notice (SHN). However, the Indonesian national was released on April 13 – according to Rasif, “someone called and told us we had 12 hours to pick her up.” She also added that the person who had called said the domestic worker had “recovered from COVID.”
According to MOM’s statement, the domestic worker had been assessed to be safe because she tested negative on her first PCR test and positive on her serology test, indicating she had recovered from an earlier infection.
This brings to question the $2,500 spent on the SHN…
Two weeks later…
Just 2 weeks later, on 30 April, the domestic worker got called for a “sudden COVID test” out of caution amid the worsening Covid-19 situation. According to both MOH and MOM, they just “wanted to be sure” and that they wanted to confirm “that it was not a re-infection case.”
The results turned up positive.
A couple of days later, an ambulance picked up the domestic worker, who was placed under quarantine once again, according to Rasif’s IG Story. “I was confused, if it’s not infectious why should she go back?” she wrote.
Her family was not provided with any information regarding the worker’s status, and weren’t issued any quarantine order. After 2 days of the domestic worker’s quarantine, Rasif tried to contact someone. She contacted the only number she had was the ambulance driver’s, and received only an expletive as a reply.
In a response, MOM said it and MOH had contacted the Indonesian national’s employer – identified only as “a family member of Ms Jade” – on two occasions. In an email dated May 5, contact numbers were provided in the email, adding it had called the family member in question on May 6 to explain the need for further COVID-19 tests for the maid.
Rasif did say that she received a call on May 6 informing her that her domestic worker was now “non-infectious and asymptomatic.”
Rasif also said she was due to appear in court around that time, so she contacted the courts to inform them that her maid had tested positive for COVID-19. The court asked for evidence, in either a letter or WhatsApp, but she didn’t have any.
She later received a call from two police officers informing her she was under investigation for breaching a quarantine order (QO), despite never receiving one. She also questioned why her family wasn’t given a quarantine order despite being a close contact of a positive case. According to MOM, the family wasn’t issued a QO in the first place.
No case number
Rasif’s domestic worker wasn’t assigned with a Covid-19 case number, because according to MOM, only active infections require them, and those still under clinical assessment didn’t.
Rasif also questioned this rationale – in her post, she raised Case 62110, who was a Filipino sea crew who tested positive but showed a past infection which was no longer transmissible. According to the MOH, his case was classified as imported, based on his travel history.
In her post, Rasif said she and her family members had gone for voluntary swab tests at a cost of $200 per person and the results turned up negative.
On May 9 – almost a month after entering Singapore on Apr 11 – the domestic worker was assessed to be not currently infectious, according to MOM, and medically fit for discharge. This is Rasif’s reply to MOM:
With the rise of Covid-19 cases in Singapore, it’s no surprise that we need to be more vigilant. The lesson here is to be on the safe side.
You can read her posts here, or view her stories here: