PETALING JAYA: Frontliners in Selangor are being pushed to their limits as they fight to curb the spread Covid-19 infections, even as the cases hit alarming numbers.
Yesterday alone, there were 965 cases, making up more than a third of the total number of cases in the country and frontliners are reportedly at “breaking point”.
One healthcare worker in Hospital Putrajaya, who did not wish to be named, said some of her colleagues were close to collapse with “patients coming in non stop” even after months of working during the pandemic.
“We are so tired and worried,” she told FMT. “Worried for ourselves and the families we go home to. To see people holidaying and flying around like nothing has happened makes us even more anxious.”
The biggest challenge in her work, she said, was dealing with misinformed or irresponsible patients.
“It is at extremes, because you have some that are really worried and come in when they have the flu, thinking they have Covid-19. Then, there are those who still lie about their whereabouts and their contacts with Covid positive patients, making our jobs much harder.”
Close to 10,000 new cases have been reported in Selangor over the last two weeks.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also previously said the country’s public hospitals and Covid-19 Low-Risk Patient Quarantine and Treatment Centres were almost at full capacity.
With the soaring number of daily cases, the healthcare worker said many of her fellow frontliners had themselves come into contact with positive cases and were forced to quarantine at home, This, in turn, led to a lack of manpower in the hospital.
In Hospital Putrajaya, there was still enough staff to manage the influx of patients, allowing others to take some much needed time off.
But those who were working were fully stretched, treating the sick on eight-hour shifts in full personal protective equipment, making it difficult for them to eat, drink or even relieve themselves.
Despite the tough situation, the frontliners had to labour on, she said.
“No matter how terrible we feel, we break down in silence and go back to work the next day. Mental health now, more than ever, also needs to be addressed amongst healthcare workers.
“We don’t know how much more we can bear. Please think of yourself but more importantly think of the vulnerable family members at home. This fight isn’t about you alone,” she said.
Another healthcare worker in Hospital Kuala Lumpur predicted that the Klang Valley Covid-19 crisis was unlikely to end any time soon.
Although the hospital was not a designated centre to treat Covid-19 cases, he said they had been receiving a high number of non-Covid-19 patients redirected from Hospital Sg Buloh, on top of their existing patients.
“We are expecting a surge in the number of non-Covid-19 patients, as Hospital Sg Buloh now takes only Covid-19 patients.
“For now, the situation is still under control but patients have to wait slightly longer,” he said, but added that the hospital was making preparations in anticipation of a deluge of patients in the near future.
He said he and his colleagues have come to terms with the new norm and the more stringent personal hygiene practices.
However, he was disappointed over the public’s lack of compliance with the SOPs, saying the message that needed to be relayed was was clear and simple – everyone should just stay safe.
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