COVID-19: First patient in Singapore discharged after 28-day stay, counts himself lucky – report

Mr Wang (centre with face mask), who was Singapore's first confirmed COVID-19 patient, poses with medical staff at Singapore General Hospital upon being discharged. (PHOTO: Screenshot/Lianhe Zaobao)

SINGAPORE — The first person to be confirmed with COVID-19 infection in Singapore was discharged on Wednesday (19 February) after a 28-day stay at Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

And Mr Wang, a 66-year-old Chinese national, said in an interview with Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao that, despite spending such a long time in hospital, he counts himself lucky to have avoided an even worse fate had he been diagnosed with the coronavirus infection back in China.

“The situation back in mainland China is so much more complicated. There are too many patients, so who knows how I would have been treated,” he said in Mandarin.

“Maybe it’s God’s will that I was in the good hands of the medical staff here. So I feel very glad to be discharged today.”

First-ever trip outside of mainland China

Wang, a Shanxi native who arrived in Singapore with his family from Guangzhou on 20 January, revealed that it was his first-ever trip outside of mainland China. As a result of his hospitalisation, it was also the first time he spent Chinese New Year overseas.

“Lying on the hospital bed, I had hoped most to hear the voices of my family,” he recalled. “Hearing those voices, to me, is more important than taking medication, as they gave me the peace of mind to recover from the illness.”

Wang had developed a fever and a cough a day after arriving in Singapore. On 22 January, on the advice of his son, he went to SGH’s emergency department to seek treatment.

He was subsequently confirmed to have the COVID-19 virus at 6pm on 23 January. 

“After I was diagnosed with the virus, I tested negative for the first three days of hospitalisation,” he said. “However, on the fourth day, I tested positive again.”

Thanked medical staff repeatedly

During the interview, he repeatedly praised the SGH medical staff for their professionalism and care.

When asked what he wishes most to do after being discharged, he said, “Eat a bowl of Wuhan-style hot noodles.”

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