Covid-19 patient No. 33 hails our healthcare heroes

I came into contact with Covid-19 patient No 26 on Feb 24. The next day I had a runny nose, but the neighbourhood clinic I visited dismissed any possibility of a Covid-19 infection.

I consulted the clinic again on Feb 29 after I developed a fever and again I was assured not to worry after blood tests were taken to confirm I was not having dengue.

On March 1, I received news from patient No. 26 that he had been admitted to hospital since Feb 27 and tested positive. I immediately went to Sungai Buloh Hospital for a test and was asked to go back home.

Late in the evening the next day, I was told to go for admission. I have since been in Sungai Buloh Hospital undergoing tests, all of which showed I am relatively well and healthy in spite of the infection. I expect to be discharged in a day or two.

I wish to apologise to all those whom I have unknowingly infected.

Fortunately, all those whom I had contact with prior to Feb 24 are well and healthy including my children, grandchildren, friends and business associates. I sincerely apologise for any of the inconveniences I have unknowingly caused. I have always been a responsible citizen and a community person and I regret this very much.

My purpose in writing this is to tell all Malaysians and the world of the sincere dedication of our medical and healthcare workers that I have seen at Sungai Buloh Hospital. I hear the same touching stories from friends who are quarantined in other government hospitals.

There were previous criticisms of the quality of our government hospitals. Having experienced first hand, I can categorically state that none of these is warranted. I saw only professionalism and patience with compassion by our dedicated healthcare providers from the top consultants to the daily doctors to the nurses and medical assistants.

They do this with every touch of the stethoscope on patients, each time they inhale the same air, and the times they allow themselves to come into contact with the patients. All of which are done selflessly disregarding the very exposure they put themselves into.

These heroic ground crews are supported by the health ministry (MoH) who are committed to the promotion of health awareness. MoH’s constant live updates on the current situation, including statistics do not go unnoticed.

More Malaysians are now keeping watch of MoH’s various channels on the Internet and social media to stay connected and informed. For these and the many other undisclosed efforts by them, we Malaysians say Thank You!

On a personal level, I am eternally grateful to the personnel from the Petaling health office and the medical team from Sungai Buloh Hospital whose names are too many and whose faces I cannot identify as they were mostly in Hazmat suits and were too shy to reveal their names.

The very few names I can recall are Dr Haykal Ghazali and Dr Salina Md Talib from PKD Petaling; Dr Yasmin Mohd Ghani, Dr Azmah, Dr Lim, Dr Esmond from Sungai Buloh Hospital whose care and patience are the epitome of Florence Nightingale and Mother Theresa.

They and their colleagues all over the country are the true heroes as Malaysia combats Covid-19. We say a big “Thank You” to them. I call on the prime minister and the health minister to herald and acknowledge these silent heroes.

Malaysia must not bow to this unfortunate calamity. Let us stand united to give full support to our government’s effort in combating this global epidemic. May God Almighty protect us as a nation and spring us to rise back stronger from this adversity.

Patient No. 33 is an FMT reader.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.