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Whether these are Covid19 symptoms, and what should be done if testing cannot be done in government hospital because patient does not know whether or not she has been in contact with Covid19 positive person or with person returning from overseas

Answered by: Dr Nur Syuhada binti Zulkifli

Last Updated: March 23, 2020 5:00 AM

zara7881 8 months

Dear Doctor -My 32-year-old daughter started having this dry cough since about 18 days ago. About a week after that, she went to seek treatment at a private clinic. The doctor said since she had no fever at that time and did not know for sure whether she had been in contact with Covid19 positive persons or with people returning from overseas, she did not meet the criteria to have Covid19 testing done at a government hospital. She was then given antibiotics and other medications for her cough. Four days later, she had diarrhoea but only for that one day. But she was also having very mild fever and body ache on and off for a number of days. She then went to the same private clinic and informed the doctor of the one-day diarrhoea and frequent mild fever as well as persistent dry cough. Doctor checked her throat, found it to be inflamed and said she seemed to have tonsilitis problem and prescribed a second antibiotic for her - that was 4 days ago. If her dry cough and occasional mild fever persists for next couple of days - should she go for covid19 testing - if so, where can she do the testing?

Dr Nur Syuhada binti Zulkifli 8 months
General Practitioner

Greetings. Thank you for your questions.

First and foremost, we truly understand your concerns regarding this issue of coronavirus since we’re in the midst of outbreak.

As you might noticed, the signs and symptoms of coronavirus infection are very vague and it mimic other disease as well. Thus, to help the medical profession to decide, we’ll look into the risk of the indvidual. You can answer the quiz on Risk Assessment for COVID-19 to evaluate your health status in regards to this disease. After completing this quiz, you will be classified into several categories with appropriate steps that should be taken. This initiative done to reduce crowd coming to hospital to do screening in fear of coronavirus. It is as well as to limit your movement out from home without any solid reason.

If you’re not qualified for test in government hosp, you can opt for private company through this link COVID-19 Screening At Home

As for now, you are advises to watch out for your daughter symptoms and follow these guidelines from Centre of Disease Control (CDC) as preventive measure:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Stay home when you are sick.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

You may consult a MOH doctor by clicking Ask Doctor at the Ministry of Health website (COVID-19 Portal) to ask any health issues related to COVID-19 starting from 8.30 am to 5.00 pm.

After 5.00 pm till 12.00 am, please direct your enquiries to our DoctorOnCall website at this link

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you to stay put at home as ordered by the authorities and only go out when necessary. With everyone’s cooperation, I hope we can conquer this outbreak before it get any worse. Thank you.

Last Updated: Mon Mar 23 2020 05:00:15 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
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