Frontliners call on public to unite against coronavirus

Burning out: A healthcare worker catching a brief break before racing back to the front lines against the deadly disease in Kuala Lumpur. — KAMARUL ARIFFIN/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Frontliners rallying behind Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in the country’s fight against Covid-19, echoed his call for Malaysians to stand behind them to flatten the curve again.

Lisha, a nurse from Kuala Lumpur who was recently deployed to a government hospital in Sabah, said she had volunteered to be a frontliner in the state.

“I had mixed feelings and was fearful. But then I got ready with the mindset that I wanted to serve the people in Sabah, ” she said.

Lisha said it was sad to see frontliners being swamped with so much work at the hospital.

“They lack manpower in hospital. Beds in ICU are full, ” she said.

A public health inspector from the Kuala Lumpur Health office, who only wanted to be known as Eryn, said their workload had increased after the Sabah state election.“We had to handle all procedures when clearing high-risk death cases because every detail has to be monitored including a Covid-19 test on the deceased, ” she said.

Despite the weariness, Eryn said, her team would soldier on.

“We are still fighting despite feeling tired, and sincerely without asking for anything in return, ” she said.

Eryn also called on Malaysians to stop pointing fingers at each other. “Let’s rise and help us take care of each other, ” she added.

A doctor in Klang Valley, who did not wish to be named, said the main concern for medical frontliners would be the risk of spreading Covid-19 to their loved ones.

“We are worried about spreading the virus to our family, especially the elderly.

“Once I reach home, I would hide in my room to avoid contact with my parents because I wouldn’t know if I had contracted the virus, ” he said.

“All this will have an impact on our mental health, and we feel that we may burn out one day, ” he said.

He said the Health director-general’s plea to remain united comes at a time of great uncertainty, especially as the nation is undergoing political instability with some medical frontliners frustrated as they are employed on a contract basis.

“Malaysians in general are fed up with the restrictions.

“We can see people don’t really maintain physical distancing when they are out nor wash their hands frequently. This is worrying, ” he said.

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