Cabby who had Covid-19 took precautions to keep family safe while recovering at home

Taxi driver Toh Kian San (far left) with his wife Teo Soo San and children Kayden and Kaylea. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

During his 10-day home recovery stint, Mr Toh Kian San developed a strict routine.

Anything that left his room - from food waste to dirty clothes - was double-bagged before it was handed over to his wife and two teenage children.

Wearing disposable gloves, they would carry the items away before stripping off the gloves and sanitising their hands.

"We also told our neighbours that I had tested positive," the 53-year-old taxi driver said in Mandarin. "That way, they wouldn't wonder why my family was suddenly avoiding them if we saw them at the central chute on our floor."

Mr Toh had tested positive for the coronavirus on Sept 17, and came down with a fever, sore throat and body aches.

After two days without hearing from anyone at the Ministry of Health (MOH), he called the ministry and was asked if he would like to recuperate at home or be taken to a recovery facility.

Mr Toh chose to stay home, partly because his Pasir Ris apartment has two balconies. One is attached to the master bedroom, where he was isolating himself, and the other is connected to the living room.

Mr Toh and his family would don masks when communicating with each other from the balconies.

"At least I could see my children that way, even though we were a few metres apart," he said.

Fully vaccinated, they would put on masks whenever they came into close contact with Mr Toh, such as when they had to leave meals outside his bedroom door.

Mr Toh took his temperature three times daily, and was contacted by a telemedicine provider on the fifth day. By that time, his symptoms had already begun to subside, he recalled. "For me, it was like a normal flu. Just that it's very transmissible, so that's what made me a bit anxious."

Mr Toh had tested positive for the coronavirus on Sept 17. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR
Mr Toh Kian San speaks with his family from his master bedroom balcony while his family is at the main balcony of their home. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

His main concern now is getting back to work. Although he has completed his home recovery stint - with MOH saying people can be discharged after the 10-day period - his TraceTogether app still shows that he has not been cleared.

The taxi company he works for told him that he cannot get back on the road.

"They waived the taxi rental, but of course my family is still impacted because I have no income," he said. "My wife is working from home, so right now it's one person supporting the four of us."

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