On 21 March 2020, a 30-year-old woman was brought to Pantai Hospital Laguna Merbok to give birth. When asked her medical history, she omitted any relation to another COVID-19 patient. She was then admitted for birth delivery following the usual process.
After she gave birth, she developed a fever. Since after-birth fevers are not usual, she confessed after further questioning that she had been living with a family-member who had attended the tabligh gathering and had tested positive for COVID-19.
Because of this, the entire hospital was forced to close for two days to carry out full terminal disinfection and fumigation.
All medical staff including doctors and nurses who had contact with the patient were placed under a two-week quarantine, though they all later tested negative.
Dr Kevin Goh, in an interview with MalaysiaKini, talked about those two weeks when he isolated himself from his family.
The 42-year-old anaesthesiologist had to spend his days outside in the garden, as he was afraid to be in contact with his wife and children. At night, he sleeps in a separate room in the house.
I am now talking to my children and wife using video call and WhatsApp.Dr Kevin Goh
He jokes that at least he is able to tend to the garden during the quarantine period.
The doctor also notes that his wife was putting up a brave front despite being sad and fearful on the day they received news that the patient had tested positive.
Dr Goh also said that because he was unaware that he had been exposed to the virus, he had taken dinner with his elderly parents, including his father who is 75-years-old who had undergone bypass surgery.
My heart sank… My family would be in danger because of my work.Dr Kevin Goh
This is a reminder that lying by omission about possible COVID-19 connections is a crime, as reiterated by the Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Please do your part and be forthcoming with your medical history, so our frontline workers don’t have to take unnecessary risks.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.