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

- Health · Women's Health · Society · Bullying · Abortions · Kuala Lumpur · Bukit Mertajam

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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