Saifuddin Abdullah said the focus is now on getting the east coast states involved in vaccination as it was important for the people to be immunised. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Saifuddin Abdullah, the communications and multimedia minister, is a man who is never short of words but there was a time in April this year when words would not come out. In fact, he could not even breathe.

Saifuddin shared today his experience of the critical moments while receiving treatment at Sungai Buloh Hospital for Covid-19. He said he suffered shortness of breath after his oxygen reading dipped to a dangerously low level of 70%.

“The point is: do not mess with Covid-19. I was one of the lucky ones to be warded in the Sungai Buloh Hospital for 16 days. For five days, I was in the observation ward and then one morning, my oxygen level was low at 70% and I had shortness of breath.

“It was a critical time. The nurse sat next to me for half an hour to advise me how to breathe properly.

“We feel we know how to breathe because we have lived a long time but there is a hollow intake, full intake and half intake. My oxygen level improved or else I would have been taken to the intensive care unit.

“I was discharged (from hospital) on the second day of Hari Raya, and yes, my lungs are affected,” he said, admitting that he tires easily due to the infection.

Saifuddin was relating his experience to the media after a handing-over ceremony of the Music Digital Content Fund (DKD Muzik) amounting to RM6 million to 960 Malaysian music activists held online, today.

He said apart from being vaccinated, individuals also need to ensure a strong immune system to fight against the virus.

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Saifuddin said that before being infected on April 29, he planned to receive the vaccine with media practitioners by following all standard operating procedures but now he could not be with media practitioners to receive the vaccine because he has to wait for a suitable date after being infected.

Meanwhile, Saifuddin said the ministry of communications and multimedia together with Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), the Malaysian national news agency (Bernama) and National Film Development Corporation, Malaysia (FINAS) is continuing to channel various content related to COVID-19 to educate the public with regard to the pandemic.

“Now the focus is on the east coast which seems to have less vaccine response. RTM Radio, in Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang, plays a role in helping the community in terms of vaccine registration and vaccination campaigns. We have to do whatever it takes because we want to achieve the goal of vaccinating the people,” he said.

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