Frontliners’ families worry for their safety


IPOH: While the general public fear being infected with Covid-19, families of frontliners have extra reason to be worried as their loved ones put their lives on the line.

Housewife Shakira Ahmad, 31, spoke of her anxiety after one of her husband’s patients tested positive for the deadly virus.

She said the patient had come in with a swollen foot at the Raja Permaisuri Bainun Hospital where her husband worked as a doctor.

“The patient did not have a respiratory problem, so my husband was not in personal protective gear,” she added.

Shakira said her husband tested himself a few days ago and while awaiting the result, he has been distancing himself from the family.

“Not only am I worried about my husband, we also have two young children.

“It has not been easy for me and the children always look forward to playing with their father when he is home,” she said.

Shakira said although the Health Ministry was doing its best to handle the pandemic, she hoped that frontliners would be better protected.

“My husband works in the hospital’s emergency department. It is important for the ministry to provide some sort of protection for emergency department staff who still need to attend to other patients.

“Even if my husband tests negative, there is no guarantee that he will not get it from other patients as the protective gear is only for staff attending to Covid-19 patients for now,” she added.

Shakira said her husband had told her about his colleagues who had to undergo quarantine because of their patients.

“To those who are not taking the movement control order (MCO) seriously, please do not be selfish. I do not want to lose my loved ones because of the negligence of others. Let’s do our part by staying home and avoiding crowds,” she added.

A 16-year-old student, who wished to be known as Tan, said his father who works with the city council, was called to help control the crowds at markets in Ipoh.

“He wears a long sleeve T-shirt and pants, hat and also puts on gloves and a cloth mask. He goes to work as early as 7am and returns home at about noon. He showers first and washes his clothes right away.

“The family is worried about his safety whenever he goes out. He tells us that there are people who refuse to observe social distancing in the market.

“There are many types of frontliners risking their lives during this MCO and I believe my father and his colleagues play important roles. I hope the authorities will give proper attire to my father and his co-workers,” he added.

Siti Nursyafiqah Rosdi, 18, said she was concerned for her policewoman sister.

“Every day, the number of Covid-19 cases is growing. Having a sister as a frontliner makes our family worried.

“Although she is stationed at the border, her shift also requires her to work in front of the hospital. She tells us that there are cases where patients lie to the doctors.

“The last time we met was two days before the MCO was enforced. Whenever we contact her, my father will ask if she has any symptoms of the disease,” she said.
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