These discriminatory practices began when the condominium management had come to know that a healthcare worker tenant was diagnosed with Covid-19. The healthcare worker who serves at a public healthcare facility was admitted to hospital after being diagnosed with Covid-19 at the end of March however, the condominium’s management had only been made aware of this in mid-April when another tenant had informed them.
The common areas are now regularly cleaned and the temperature of residents and tenants are being taken upon entering the premises. Recently, the condo’s management took it a notch further and decided to designate one of the three lifts for medical and essential services workers. The one lift is a manually operated lift (without the resident pass access panel).
These kinds of discriminatory practices demonstrates that a serious problem of misinformation exists among the public.
While we welcome the regular cleaning of common areas and temperatures of residents being taken upon entry as precautionary steps, the segregation of residents for shared facilities such as lifts are unnecessary and smacks of discrimination against our healthcare workers.
There is a sense that some people are going beyond what is actually needed in precautionary measures out of intense fear and this is one particular example.
The Ministry of Health’s (MOH) advice has been simple and consistent from the start in managing the Covid-19 situation in the country. Avoid crowds, wash your hands frequently with soap, regularly sanitize your hands, regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces, keep a social distance of 1-2 metres away from others when in public and during the MCO, avoid non-essential trips outdoors and stay at home. If all these preventive measures are taken, there should be no reason to fear.
The advice by our Ministry of Health is in line with evidence based recommendations by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
MOH is doing an excellent job in managing the Covid-19 situation as can be seen in the progress made in reducing the number of infections and spread in the country. The public should be listening to MOH, take their advice seriously and only accept verified, substantiated information from credible, reputable sources.
We urge the authorities to investigate such discriminatory practices against our healthcare workers and take appropriate action. We also urge the relevant ministries to also step up its efforts to address these issues of fear and misinformation among the public to avoid similar type issues.
* Dr. N. Ganabaskaran is the President of the Malaysian Medical Association
** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail