SERDANG, July 20  — Frontline health workers holding the fort at the COVID-19 Integrated Quarantine and Treatment Centre (PKRC) 2.0 at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) are keeping their own sadness at bay for not being able to spend the auspicious Aidiladha festivity with their families to appear cheerful and project positive energy in efforts to motivate their patients.

Putting on a brave front while enduring the pain of being away from their loved ones is the sacrifice they are willing to make to provide comfort to the patients who are fighting the disease separated from their own families.

Medical assistant supervisor at DG Hall, PKRC MAEPS 2.0, Engku Mohd Nazri Engku Mansor said patients felt miserable in the days leading to Hari Raya Aidiladha and became overwhelmed with sadness during “takbir raya” today.

“It is very upsetting not to be with your family during the Raya celebration, that is why we provide raya delicacies to patients to cheer them up,” he told Bernama here today.

As a former COVID-19 patient, Engku Mohd Nazri said he could empathise with the patients who are feeling stressed and confused due to the disease.

For the record, patients here have access to the counselling services provided by the Ministry of Health to help them cope with their current situation.

“Patients sent to the quarantine centre are initially confused before feelings of sadness and worry take over after several days. We need to be good at gauging their emotions and reading their facial expressions so that we can help them manage their feelings and try to make them happy,” he said, adding that COVID-19 patients must keep fighting, never back down or give in to the virus.

“Our spirit has to be strong to fight this virus. If our mind is weak this virus will suppress us and our body cells will change. When I was infected, I was dispirited at first but I bounced back after talking with former COVID-19 patients who were treated at quarantine centres before,” he added.

Engku Mohd Nazri said COVID-19 patients should continue their daily activities because a healthy lifestyle could help them fight the effects brought by the disease.

Asked about the preparations of health workers in dealing with the rising COVID-19 cases, he said they were always reminded to keep fighting as it was their responsibility to do so.

“You must go on and cannot turn back … that is what I told my subordinates. We cannot afford to throw in the towel as cases are on the rise.  We have to accept this challenge,” he said.

Checks by Bernama found about 50 COVID-19 patients performed the Aidiladha prayers at 8 am today and about 1,300 front line health workers participated in the “takbir raya” session held at the hall.

The health workers were also provided with raya delicacies such as ‘rendang’, ‘nasi impit’ and peanut gravy.


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