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Reporting Covid positivity to the HK Govt & what ensues: Personal recount

My entire family tested positive for COVID 19 and we registered on the Hong Kong government website!

One Thursday evening, I developed a cough and a runny nose, and was feeling a bit breathless after my walk. I had invited some guests over the next day so decided to get myself tested for COVID using a Rapid Antigen Test kit that I had recently purchased (click here to find the list of RATs approved by the Hong Kong SAR government).

I tested positive, as did my husband. Both my daughters tested negative so we immediately told them to double mask and stay in their rooms while we isolated in ours.

My husband, who is the type who dots every i and crosses every t, insisted on reporting our positive test result on the government website. Even though I was very skeptical about it, and rather nervous, given the horror stories circulating about being carted off to isolation facilities and children being separated from their parents, I did the needful. Luckily, if you can isolate yourself at home and have requisite facilities like a separate washroom, you can stay at home. Else you can request for a transfer to an isolation facility.

It is recommended that you register within 24 hours of a positive test result. Once you register, you will receive an SMS with a link to upload photos of your HKID as well as the RAT. I’d suggest that you take the photo pf your RAT using a TIMESTAMP app, so that the date and time of the results can be recorded as shown below. Once this is done, they will issue an isolation order which can be saved in pdf form on your phone.

The first couple of days were indeed rather testing, as we were all wearing masks at home, and I had to avoid my kids, much to my younger one’s disappointment. Both children tested positive by the weekend. My husband and kids were asymptomatic or had very mild symptoms. My younger daughter had a mild fever for a couple of hours, while the sister and father just had a bit of cold/ cough. However, I developed slightly more pronounced symptoms. I had a fever, sore throat, cold, cough, fatigue as well as breathlessness.

My friend spent all of Friday and Saturday morning hunting for a pulse oximeter and some Panadol in almost all pharmacies, dispensaries, Watsons, Manning’s, Fanda, Chinese medical shops all the way from Central to Kennedy Town with no luck. That evening, my cousin, a practicing doctor here, brought a care package consisting of her pulse oximeter, some ibuprofen tablets, some food, fruits and a loaf of bread, all the way from Tung Chung.

It is recommended that your oxygen saturation level is maintained above 95.

However, early Sunday morning, we were in for a surprise! We received COVID care packages from the government that was placed outside our door. The care pack contained:

1nos pulse oximeter

1nos digital thermometer

6nos RAT

30 nos disposable face masks

1 strip/10 nos paracetamol 500mg

1 box /24 capsules Chinese cough medicine

We subsequently received similar packs for my daughters as well, though theirs had KN95 masks as well. Those who have received two or more doses of the COVID vaccine can leave their homes if they test negative on days 6 and 7, counting the day of the first positive test as Day 1. If you don’t test negative on day 6, keep testing every day until you get negative tests on two consecutive days. My husband and daughters tested negative on days 6 and 7. It look a bit longer for me and I got my negative test results on days 10 and 11.

We contracted this disease together as a family, and it was quite challenging. I’m extremely grateful to my friends and relatives who dropped off food and care packages throughout our sickness. Because one thing that they don’t really tell you is how the fatigue hits you like a ton of bricks! Even a surprise pack of cookies is so much welcomed! Also given the shortage of RATs, medicines and oximeters in most parts of the city, the government care packages seemed godsend.

We are all slowly getting back to normal, after more than 3 weeks now. I still have trouble climbing stairs and walking up the mountain- I feel breathless. In fact the first week after recovery, I avoided going out as I found it difficult to breathe with a mask on. However, I’m glad we now have the antibodies, and that my kids managed to work their way through the illness without missing any school days. And my husband’s employer also send a care pack, a couple of weeks after recovery that got the kids excited with the exotic fruits and pretty flowers and the interesting eats!



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