If you’re ill and showing symptoms of Covid-19, it’s best to head straight to a clinic that’s registered as a Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC). If the doctor suspects that you might have the coronavirus, you most probably have to go to the hospital to get tested.

We’ve read stories about long waiting time (no diss, they are doing their jobs and there are a lot of imported cases), and in the event that you are admitted for further tests, you don’t want to be caught unprepared.

A Reddit user recently shared what one should consider bringing when going to see a doctor, because these days, you can never be sure what might happen.

Gametheorista gave the example of a friend who visited a doctor for what she thought was a regular flu but got whisked off to the A&E to get tested for Covid-19 instead.

During the one-hour wait (alone, outside the clinic) for the ambulance to arrive, the patient’s mum even had to get off work early to bring her essential items like her phone charger and cable, identity card, and a bottle of water. 

Gametheorista’s list of essential items included must-haves like your ID, wallet, phone, phone charger and cables. And also water (“might be hard to get in the emergency room”) as well as the basic virus protection kit of face mask and hand sanitiser. Goggles and gloves too, if you wish to be extra cautious.

One would also prepare for the worst-case scenario by bringing a change of clothes, personal toiletries, other electronic devices you’d need in case you can’t be home for a protracted period of time, snacks and a jacket (“because ERs can get cold”).

Lastly, having a list of medications that you’re taking, and knowing your medical history and allergies would no doubt be helpful.


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Of course, there were some disagreements with the rather extensive list, which a commenter said was “overkill”, such as the need to bring electronic devices. But the point is, as Gametheorista replied, you don’t know if you’re going to get a “free hospital stay”.

Other users chimed in to suggest additional items they would bring to tide themselves over the wait.

Hair ties and tissues would also be useful in case you are required to go for X-rays or suffer a runny nose after the nose swab test for Covid-19.  But one thing to note is with that many items to bring, one would probably need a duffel bag at least or a backpack to contain everything.

In times like these, it’s best to always be prepared, but prevention is better than cure, so to avoid falling ill, we should all try to keep our immunity up by maintaining a healthy diet and having adequate sleep.

Image: 123rf.com, screengrabs from Reddit
Text: Candice Cai / AsiaOne / March 2020
Additional text: Sally Manik

Get more updates and Covid-19-related stories in our Self-care Guide.