‘We don’t want to decide who lives and who dies’


MANY of my colleagues have not seen their spouses or their parents for many months.

As doctors, our job is to save people’s lives.

However, my greatest fear is that I may have to choose who lives or who dies when there are more patients than beds. I am not looking forward to that day.

Currently, such a situation is not just at the Penang Hospital. All the other intensive care units (ICUs) are almost full.

I joined the Covid-19 team when the hospital was recruiting medical officers from different departments.

I thought of my colleagues who were pregnant, breastfeeding and living with toddlers in the team fighting the virus, and hence,

I volunteered.

I had my fears as I live with my

aged parents. The thought of me carrying back the virus and infecting them kept bothering me.

So as to protect them, I moved out and stayed away until the cases in Penang cleared last May.

After the cases subsided, I returned to my original duties in the ear, nose and throat (ENT) department.

But later in the year, the cases resurfaced with an outbreak at Penang Prison.

Sometimes, I feel that our work has not been recognised as the public continue to flout the standard operating procedures without a thought.

If we want the virus to go away, please stay at home. If you feel like you have to go out, please follow all SOP mandated by the government.

If you have symptoms or come in

close contact with someone who is Covid-19 positive, do not hesitate to inform us immediately and please abide by all the instructions given.

We must do this together and we need

the public with us in fighting this virus. We know everyone is frustrated and tired, but so are we, the frontliners.

— Dr Shamesh Baskaran, 33, medical practitioner at Penang Hospital

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