Singaporean expat restaurateur praised for outing himself as COVID-19 patient

The owner of a restaurant serving Haiwaiian food was being commended today for publicizing the fact he is infected with COVID-19. 

The Singaporean owner of Ohana Poke in the All Seasons Place building on Wireless Road posted on his restaurant’s Facebook page last night that he had contracted the virus. 

“My name is Jay and I’m owner of Ohana Poke. I am writing this post because it’s the right thing to do and I want to allay your concerns in the most effective manner,” he wrote. “I was told this morning, I tested positive for COVID-19 at Bangkok Christian Hospital. I’m now being held at the official government quarantine hospital, awaiting the confirmation of my status.”

He did not identify himself by his full name.

Along with the post, Jay posted a picture of his passport and flight tickets that showed that he departed Singapore and arrived at Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport over one month ago on Feb. 2, which being over a month ago, would make Singapore an unlikely source of infection. 

Amid a growing backdrop of fear and suspicion that travelers are irresponsibly spreading the coronavirus that has now broken out worldwide, people were quick to thank him for the disclosure.

“Thank you for taking the time to write all this with honesty and grace. I wish you a speedy recovery and come back even stronger. We will wait for the reopening of Ohana Poke,” Facebook user Wannipha Buakaew wrote in reply to his post. 

“I truly appreciate your honesty and responsibility. Thx you for sharing and telling public the truth, esp during this circumstance,” wrote another comment from Jee Koyuechat. 

Jay then went into details about his travels and symptoms. 

Ohana Poke has been shut down since Tuesday and remains closed until further notice. 

Public health officials have yet to announce Jay’s case. Thailand has now reported 53 cases since the outbreak began.

Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect the amount of time passed since he visited Singapore would make it unlikely he took ill there.


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