Medical staff all drained out

SEREMBAN: For months now, Dr Michael (not his real name) has had to put on personal protective equipment for up to three hours a day whenever he visits Covid-19 patients recuperating at his ward.

And having to do this four times a week for months now has been truly exhausting.

“It’s no fun putting on an astronaut-like suit for hours a day. We even have to plan for when we should go to the toilet or have a sip of water. We pray every day that this pandemic will end and this can only happen if people start treating it more seriously, ” he said.

Dr Michael added that spending between 12 and 15 hours a day in the Covid-19 ward was tiring and emotionally draining, especially if his team has to attend to “unstable” patients.

“It is painful because this is something we can avoid if we are careful.

“Although most patients recover and go home, the sight of patients gasping for breath is quite painful to watch, ” he said, adding that his happiest moments are when recovered patients thank and bid them goodbye after being discharged.

He expressed hope that the people would know how serious the Covid-19 situation is, with some hospitals nearing full capacity.

Dr Jeya (not her real name) said she has been doing a lot more work at a health clinic since the outbreak.

“These days, we are really overwhelmed as we get so many people at our clinic, including people with Covid-19 like symptoms.

“Although we sometimes find it difficult to cope, we have no choice but to conduct tests and treat everyone who comes to us, ” she said, adding that she too has to put on a special gown, face shield and mask whenever she is required to take swabs from patients.

She said people need to know that medical personnel and other frontliners are also required to undergo quarantine if they unknowingly come into contact with positive cases.

“When this happens, the number of medical personnel on duty are reduced and those on duty will have even more work to do, ” she said.

Dr Jeya said she hopes that the people would take heed of the government’s decision to impose the MCO again so that the number of cases can be brought down.

“All frontliners need a breather. This has taken a toll on all of us, including the people, and we need to fight this together, ” she said, adding that she also worries whenever she goes home to her young family after a long day of seeing patients.

A police officer, who requested anonymity, appealed to the people to adhere to all the standard operating procedures (SOP) to help the authorities fight the virus.

“We have to do round-the-clock enforcement work to ensure people comply with the SOP, especially in public places.

“It has been tiring but we have to soldier on, ” he said, expressing his hope that people would just stay home if they have no pressing matters to attend to.

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