Frontliners put duty as top priority

Prep work: Tang preparing the disinfectant spray at the Sri Tanjung voluntary squad station in Weld Quay, Penang. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

GEORGE TOWN: He is among the high-risk group but 68-year-old Tang Heng Kok continues to soldier on in his fight against the Covid-19 pandemic which is still a major threat.

The Sri Tanjung voluntary firefighter has been disinfecting work premises and school buildings besides being on standby to face any eventuality.

“Since the first wave, we have been disinfecting buildings to ensure everyone is safe from the virus. “On a busy day, we disinfected up to three schools and spent around two hours in each school,” he said.

Tang said besides helping with cleaning and sanitising buildings, his team is also on standby for emergencies.

“It’s not tiring at all since we get to work on shifts. But I’ll be drenched in sweat as it is hot to wear a layer of personal protection equipment (PPE) on top of our uniform.“But I understand that it is double protection for us,” he said.

Tang is among the many frontliners who have been fighting the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

A businessman with two grandchildren aged five and eight living with him, Tang said he would disinfect himself upon reaching home.

“My two grandchildren also belong to the high-risk category so I’d always clean myself properly before playing with them.

“I have to be healthy so that I can take good care of them,” he said.

Penang Island City Council public health officer M. Komagan, 29, is at a higher risk of contracting the virus as his job requires him to move around and he is living with his parents, who are in their 60s.

“My mother has diabetes. I have to go to many public places to ensure sweeping, cleaning and sanitising are done there.

“This exposes us to getting the virus,” Komagan said.

He added that he would usually laze around the house after work before showering but nowadays he would rush straight to the bathroom before speaking to his parents.

“I’ll do the grocery shopping and make sure my parents always have their face masks on when they leave the house,” he said.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Soffian Santong said combating several emerging clusters during the third wave of the pandemic was very challenging and tiring for him and his men.

“The mutation of the virus and its easy transmission are a real challenge as we have to double up our enforcement to make sure the public follows the standard operating procedure (SOP).

“We don’t have time to deal with fatigue and tiredness. We are always ready to serve the public and enforce the law until this country is free from this virus,” he said in a phone interview.

ACP Soffian also advised the public to adhere strictly to the SOP and avoid the 3Cs – confined spaces, crowded places and close conversations.

“Besides wearing face masks, the public can also help us by stopping the spread of fake or unverified information,” he said.

Penang Remand Prison director Mohamed Jusoh Ismail said his staff on duty would only move around in their PPEs.

“The virus has been contained as no staff members are working outside the prison gates.

“The public need not fear contracting the virus,” ACP Soffian said.

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Covid-19 , fronliners , Penang


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