"Assume Everyone Is COVID Positive" — Dr & Former Miss Universe Malaysia Contestant Shares

"We're thinking of those who are better candidates, who can survive not because we want to but we don't have a choice."

Cover image via @dhivyadhyana (Instagram)

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A frustrated Malaysian doctor recently took to her social media detailing a heartbreaking experience she had while working on the frontlines

In a viral video uploaded a couple of days ago, Dr Dhivya Dhyana, who's also a 2016 Miss Universe Malaysia contestant, shares that she encountered a 90-year-old COVID-19 positive patient who was admitted several days ago to one of her wards.

"Yesterday, she succumbed to the illness and passed away. A day before she passed away, we found out that her son, who also tested positive, was in the same ward that she was admitted in and nobody knew," she says.

Both son and mother did not know they were in the same ward because they were admitted at different times, brought in by separate ambulances, and their family at home were not sure which wards they were each in

The doctor explains that the wards are huge with lots of patients everywhere, and people aren't just walking around to look at each other. "It just so happened that the son was walking across the ward to get water, and he happened to find his mother there."

"This is a 90-year-old frail, sickly old lady with a lot of health problems, so obviously she wasn't a good candidate who was going to survive the infection. And there was no one beside her to take care of her, to feed her."

Dhivya goes on to say that although they have nurses in the wards constantly going in and out at different scheduled times, there's only much they can do.

"I wish we could have done more or at least placed the mother and son side by side so they can take care of each other."

Image for illustration purposes only.

Image via Reuters/Bangkok Post

"I guess he only had a day to spend the last moments with her."

After the patient passed away, Dhivya said that she called one of the family members to inform them of the disheartening news and also told them that the son was at the same ward.

The family member on the other line then replied Dhivya asking that if that was the case, was she able to find two others [family members] who were admitted to the same hospital?

Upon searching the database, Dhivya discovered that two other family members were indeed admitted to their hospital but were in a different ward. Not only that, she found out that a total of five family members had actually been admitted to the same hospital for being COVID-19 positive.

"None of them knew that each of them was admitted to the same hospital. They didn't have phones, most of them were elderly."

Dhivya explains that they don't always have time to identify families early enough, as hundreds of patients come in every day and some are unconscious in the ambulance.

Dhivya Dhyana.

Image via @dhivyadhyana (Instagram)

"It was just so hard when we found out that none of them were able to spend time with each other, one of them passes away, and [two others] are not doing well either"

"There was just nothing we could do because by the time we found out, a lot of them were already at a very late stage. And it's just so sad, but that's the situation that it has come to now that so many people have tested positive."

Dhivya adds that due to the high number of cases, sometimes you just can't get a hold of a family member who tested positive to find out how they are doing and what's happening. 

"When they are taken to the hospital, you just don't know if that's the last time you will see them."

The doctor explains that they later found out that those five family members did not live in the same vicinity. However, they did have some sort of gathering for a birthday.

"Now you see, this is the problem in the country right now. Everyone thinks it's okay to just visit for a while, or I'm just gonna visit my friend for 10 minutes or I'm just going to pass this over to my neighbour's house. Or I'm just going to go to my aunt's house to collect some documents."

All these small things that we think are harmless is what's causing the bigger problem... we are not in a position where we can cater to these numbers anymore.

"We've got hundreds of patients waiting in the emergency department (ED), waiting for a bed for days. I've heard stories of patients waiting in the ED until they collapse, dying in the ED before they even get a bed."

"I've heard of patients coming with their whole families, with children, with teenagers, with babies, who are tested COVID positive," she says, adding that pregnant women have also been trying to get tested after finding out they have family members with symptoms.

To make matters worse, Dhivya reveals that patients who come in for non-COVID-related emergencies are not able to get access to treatments because of the number of backed-up COVID positive cases in hospitals and a lack of resources.

"It has come to the point where we are choosing who to give resources to. We are choosing who we can save... We are choosing who we can ventilate."

Many of those affected by the virus need oxygen support but there are not enough oxygen supplies, she says, adding that even if the patients get a bed, there are not enough ventilators.

"If the numbers continue rising or stay this high, I really don't know what's going to happen. I'm sad to say that it's come to a point where we are having to choose younger, healthier patients with less health problems... We've had patients dying when they're not supposed to be dying."

"We're thinking of those who are better candidates, who can survive not because we want to but we don't have a choice."

Dhivya continues by urging everyone to just stay at home. "We are still getting patients who are saying that they went out somewhere or met a colleague or are just going out in general because they had a MITI (Ministry of International Trade and Industry) letter... I don't understand, why is everyone still moving around?"

"A lot of people say, 'Oh I managed to surpass the roadblock or there are no roadblocks around here' but that shouldn't be why you're [not] staying at home"

"It's so easy to say that this system failed or these rules and regulations were not placed when they were supposed to be placed. But what are we doing as the people to flatten the curve? I don't think we're doing enough because everyone is still out and about," she expresses.

With these current high numbers, the doctor urges to just have a mentality that everyone is COVID positive until proven otherwise, "Whether it's your neighbour, food delivery rider, that aunty that you go for walks with, the postage guy who delivers your parcel... your friends, family, anyone can be COVID positive at this point. So you just have to stick with that mentality."

"At this point, there's no reason for anyone to go out unless you are a frontliner, there is a huge emergency, or someone is literally dying. There are so many patients who are being brought in dead, who just suddenly collapse and nobody knows why. And when tested, they are COVID positive."

She also explains that there are too many asymptomatic cases (those with no symptoms) so for now, it's just best to stay away from everyone. At least until the cases reduce.

"I know there are a lot of people very affected by this pandemic. I know that right now it's the public who are helping the others, it's the people helping people and it's great because that's what we need right now [since] we're not having a lot of help from those who should have helped us."

"It's a great initiative but there are still a lot of ignorant people roaming around, carrying the virus, spreading the virus. And until this stops, I don't think this problem is ever gonna end."

Dhivya's video has been viewed over 285,000 times since. You can watch the full clip below:

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