Patients dismiss claims of overcrowding at MAEPS


PETALING JAYA: A video of overcrowding at the Malaysian Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS), which is being used as a low-risk quarantine centre, couldn’t be further from the truth, say patients there.

Interior designer and social activist Raffil Faizul Jamir Ridzuan, who was admitted on Friday, gave the centre a four out of five for its food, toilets and the frontliners there.

“I was initially paranoid when I knew I was going to be sent to MAEPS, especially when I saw the video of crowds.

“The reality is very different. It is actually clean and comfortable. The frontliners are friendly.

“The crowds in the viral videos showed people who were being discharged. I also cannot wait to be discharged, ” said Raffil.

In his tweet, he also posted a picture of him wearing a pink polka-dot top which is usually worn by female patients at maternity wards.

“I am here at MAEPS because I am Covid-19 positive, not because I am pregnant, ” he tweeted cheekily.

Raffil, who is from Ampang, explained that the pink top was one of the clothes prepared by the staff at MAEPS and those who are quarantined there have a choice to wear their own clothes or wear the top.

“I brought lots of my own clothes but they prepared clothes for us. Even though there are facilities to wash clothes by hand, I am comfortable wearing this polka-dot top as I won’t have to wash my own clothes.

“Some netizens jokingly asked me why I did not wear a skirt as well. Some also asked if I was going to have a natural delivery or a caesarean. The netizens entertained me while I am quarantined here, ” said Raffil.

Viral videos of patients crowding in MAEPS went around last week, only to be debunked by the National Disaster Management Agency, which said that the crowd was of those being discharged.

Late last week, another patient Afifie Chan said he was at first sceptical until he reached the centre.

“I was prepared for the worst. However, everything here really contradicted what I found online, ” said the technical executive.

Afifie said there are three halls in MAEPS, one for foreigners, one for Malaysian women and one for Malaysian men.

He said that they were checked by a doctor to see if they needed any medical assistance before they were given their necessities and taken to their beds.

He also said that only 40% of the 1,040 beds in Hall C where he is currently housed is filled.

“You do not feel it is packed as it is a huge hall. I can still do my brisk walking, ” said Afifie.

He also praised the frontliners who cleaned the toilets daily and served delicious food.

“Today is my fourth day, and I have yet to hear of any theft cases here. I feel safe to leave my phones at the charging stations, ” said Afifie.

He said the only downside was no hot water in the showers.

“The only routine that we have here is the time they serve the food. Otherwise you are free to do your own thing, ” said Afifie, who said that he enjoys the social camaraderie with other patients there.

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