Taking no chances with revelry


Staff member Salinder Vathi, 43, putting up Chinese New Year decorations at the donation counter at Penang Cheshire Home in Babington Avenue, George Town. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

AFTER rounds of quarantine and deaths due to Covid-19, a few charity homes in Penang are now seeing better days but they do not intend to celebrate Chinese New Year in any significant way in order to stay safe.

Persatuan Syukur Penyayang Pulau Pinang founder Peter Tan said the home would not take chances with Chinese New Year revelry although there had been no Covid-19 scare for months.

“All the 43 residents here are safe and healthy now but we remain vigilant to ensure things stay that way.

“All our residents do not have immediate family as that is our rule before we take them in.

“They do get visitors from their extended family members.

“We only allow fully vaccinated visitors to come in. Outsiders are not allowed at all,” said Tan, whose home is in Ayer Itam.

In August and September last year, the home underwent two rounds of quarantine and reported two deaths due to Covid-19.

Only 10 residents were spared from the disease then.

Tan said they must exercise caution as their residents were aged between 53 and 91.

He said all the residents undergo Covid-19 self-testing once every two weeks, while the 10 staff members do self-testing weekly.

He said those who went for health checks at Penang Hospital would be tested upon returning to the home.

Tan said the Chinese New Year celebration this year would be another quiet affair, just like it was last year.

No decorations will be put up as well.

“Food will be simple as we usually cook using donated items,” he said.

Tan said donors would drop off rations as they were not allowed in.

He welcomed donations but hoped that donors would contact him first as he did not want to waste food.

“Certain things are perishable and if there is too much of one item, it will spoil and go to waste,” he said.

Meanwhile, Penang Cheshire Home president Andrew Koay said his residents were coping well despite having to go through three major lockdowns.

“Residents have to face restrictions, which inhibit their movement and social interaction with our supporters and sponsors.”

Koay said there was a Covid-19 outbreak between Sept 24 and Oct 20 last year, where two staff members and five residents tested positive.

“They have since fully recovered.

“Many well-wishers provided us with food, medicine and PPE equipment to overcome the period of infection,” he said.

The home in Babington Avenue has 14 live-in residents and 28 daycare residents aged between 20 and 73.

“So far, we do not have any plans for Chinese New Year and there won’t be any private celebration unless the Covid-19 situation improves in the next two weeks.

“We do wish that the pandemic will be over soon so that the residents can resume their normal lives, especially taking part in outdoor activities which are important to enhance their lives,” he said.

Those who wish to contribute to Persatuan Syukur Penyayang Pulau Pinang can contact Tan at 012-494 9718, and Koay at 04- 227 5546/ 04-228 3319/017-326 6546) for Penang Cheshire Home.

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charity homes , Penang , Chinese New Year

   

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