A medical officer with the Ministry of Health (MOH) has taken to social media to beg Malaysians to show some concern and consideration while the country continues to battle COVID-19
"I hardly share what happens at work, but today I am feeling extremely frustrated and drained," wrote the doctor on her Facebook account on Tuesday, 25 May.
Dr Tasha, who works at the Paediatrics department in Melaka Hospital, shared a photo of her in the hospital taken by a nurse, waiting for a baby to be delivered at 4am.
She described how an irresponsible mother — who had completely disregarded COVID-19 precautions amidst the pandemic — strained hospital resources and jeopardised an unborn child's well-being.
"At 3am, we received this call asking us to standby for a baby who was going to be delivered via C-section," recounted Dr Tasha
"I was having a challenging call to begin with, as there were a few really ill babies keeping my team and I busy all night," she said, adding that they had already been working for over 20 hours, since 8am the morning before.
However, the Paediatric team had to be present at the emergency delivery to ensure resuscitation to the baby can be given immediately if required.
"When a patient goes in for a C-section, a minimum of 10 to 15 doctors and staff are needed to run the operation theatre and conduct the procedure smoothly. This includes personnel from the Anaesthesia, Obstetrics, and Paediatric teams," she explained.
"Ideally, we don't favour operations being done at 4am as we have fewer doctors and staff working at this hour. If there are emergencies that occur, there is less help available and everything becomes more stressful."
However, if a baby is in distress or the mother is unwell, then yes — it is an indication to proceed for an EMERGENCY C-section, regardless of the time.
However, according to Dr Tasha, she was frustrated when she heard the story that lead to the early morning's emergency
"The operation took place because the mother delivering was a probable COVID-19 patient. Her COVID-19 RTK screening test came back positive," she said.
"When we asked her how was this possible, her reply was that she went 'visiting and travelling' during Raya. Her relatives were unwell and yet she 'chose' to visit them. She 'chose' to go to their houses, not wear masks continously, not maintain distance, and not follow basic standard operation procedures (SOPs)."
"It didn't stop there. She came back home and wasn't feeling too well, however she still had relatives and friends come over to her own house for 'visiting'."
Dr Tasha expressed utmost disappointment that the mother had not considered her responsibility, not only to others, but also to her baby
"It frustrates me that throughout this ordeal, she couldn't spare two minutes to think about how this affects her unborn baby," the doctor wrote.
"[She can] forget thinking about us frontliners, we're strangers. But she never gave a thought about how if she is COVID-19 positive, it changes her entire delivery experience."
According to Dr Tasha, if the mother did turn out positive, her baby will have to be isolated once delivered and undergo a series of tests and swabs just hours after being born.
"Zero consideration was given, zero awareness was present."
After the incident, the medical officer said she felt extremely tired and demotivated in this battle against COVID-19
"It is tiring when you feel you have to fight this alone and some people are not the least bothered to think and play their role in this," she said.
"They are not bothered to help you fight this and flatten the curve. They rather listen to fake news, disregard SOPs, lie to cross borders, and in result, continue spreading the virus."
Dr Tasha lastly pointed out that Malaysia recorded over 7,000 new cases in one day this week, and pleaded for everyone to start having some awareness — stay at home, follow SOPs, and get vaccinated.
"We can't do this alone, we will fail if you don't do your part. To everyone reading this, I beg you – please do your part."
Remember to limit your movement and keep practising physical distancing. Watch the latest update on the COVID-19 situation:
Medical professionals and family members of COVID-19 patients have repeatedly called on Malaysians to be more socially responsible:
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