Healthcare workers in Malaysia will be given time off in the next one or two weeks after five months of working tirelessly to fight the COVID-19 pandemic
According to Harian Metro, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham said the frontliners will be given rest in stages as well as counselling to prevent themselves from burning out.
"Ministry of Health (MOH) frontliners have been working non-stop day and night for the last five months, they can barely even differentiate between weekday or weekend," he said in the daily COVID-19 press conference yesterday, 5 May.
"But today, we can see the results of all the sacrifices they have made, new cases have declined. The use of COVID-19 wards and Intensive Care Units in hospitals have also gone down."
He said it was the best time for healthcare workers to take a breather in face of the possibility that cases may surge again
"We may use this opportunity to give some time off to the MOH workforce in stages. We will also give them counselling to prepare them for an increase in cases, if it happens," said the Health D-G in response to a question about the ministry's approach to ensure the mental health of its frontliners, reported Malaysiakini.
"We always prepare for the worst, but hope for the best."
This brings the tally to a total of 6,383 cases and 106 deaths in the country.
Additionally, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry will also take this period to re-strategise its distribution of manpower and equipment
He then took the opportunity to express his appreciation to all the frontliners who have dedicated their lives and effort to battle the outbreak in the country.
"This is a challenge for all of us, the frontliners and all the MOH workforce. But what is sure, we are the last line of defence against the pandemic in our country that involves sickness and death," he said.
"Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all frontliners, not just the MOH, but also the police, armed forces, NGOs, and everyone who has been working hard to achieve what we have today," he said.
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