The Sun (Malaysia)

Covid fears for expectant mum

Serving as a frontliner at a clinic, pregnant doctor puts aside her trepidatio­n to serve the community

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KUALA LUMPUR: Expecting a child is a delightful experience for most women, as it was for Dr Yap Choon Fong. However, she was also full of trepidatio­n upon learning in April last year that she would soon be a mother.

She had been married only six months earlier, but despite her condition, she was sent to the frontlines in the Covid-19 war, serving in a government health clinic in Bukit Mertajam where she works.

The 30-year-old medical officer’s fears were not unfounded. Her job required her to take samples from persons under investigat­ion to test for Covid-19.

“My family and friends were also concerned about my risk of exposure to the virus. In fact, they advised me to apply for a transfer to another unit but I refused because we were experienci­ng a shortage of staff at the clinic.

“I was aware that as a frontliner, I shouldn’t be selfish. I then set aside my fears and continued to serve. I strived to fight the Covid-19 pandemic (with my colleagues),” she told Bernama.

Fortunatel­y, she gave birth to a healthy baby on Oct 29 last year. But unknown to her, a nightmare was just around the corner.

“Three days after my delivery, I received a call from the hospital saying that the anaestheti­st who gave me an epidural (for pain relief during childbirth) had tested positive for Covid-19. Of course, I was petrified when I heard this,” she said.

Yap, who was then learning to breastfeed her newborn, was forced to undergo a two-week quarantine, during which she had to take care of her baby herself.

“My husband and family members were very supportive and would give me moral support through video calls,” she said.

Fortunatel­y, she tested negative for Covid-19 at the end of her quarantine.

Recalling her work as a frontliner, Yap said that like her colleagues, it was her duty to serve the community.

“Thankfully, we had good teamwork and a positive attitude, and that helped to alleviate our stress and anxiety while performing our tasks,” she added.

 ??  ?? Yap, wearing full personal protective gear at an immigratio­n depot in Juru, Bukit Mertajam last July when she was pregnant.
Yap, wearing full personal protective gear at an immigratio­n depot in Juru, Bukit Mertajam last July when she was pregnant.

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