Frontliners put their heart and soul in COVID-19 fight

Wani Roslan

Brave healthcare workers and frontliners have dedicated their efforts to serve and work over-time in the fight to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

A staff member and a frontliner at Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital, Ainon binti Haji Mohd Salleh said her working hours have changed since the COVID-19 crisis.

“We have to cover for any section needing our assistance such as at the check-point section to screen and check visitors who are coming in, and asking them questions before they can enter,” she said.

She also encountered some visitors who did not cooperate. Some who cannot enter due to restrictions such as fever and having close contact with the infected or in quarantine, were escorted to the RIPAS Hospital Sports Complex for swab test, Ainon said.

“My task is not only at the main building, but I also have to go to the RIPAS Hospital Sports Complex, lending a hand to other frontliners. There are also volunteers who voluntarily help to reduce our daily duties,” she said.

Raja Isteri Pengiran Anak Saleha (RIPAS) Hospital adopted strict measures, which include barring those with high risk of spreading infection and those who are vulnerable to getting infected to curb the spread of the COVID-19 infection. Only those who are issued ‘safe stickers’ after screening are allowed to visit patients and attend doctor appointments to minimise the risk of infection. PHOTO: RAHWANI ZAHARI
ABOVE & BELOW: Deputy Medical Superintendent Dr Haji Muhd Nurhasanuddin bin Kelali; and Senior Radiology Officer at the Radiology Department Hajah Wan Aslina. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

ABOVE & BELOW: Nurafiqah Wasimah binti Awang Yahya; and Ainon binti Haji Mohd Salleh

With assistance from the volunteers, the duties are conducted smoothly while lessenening the burden especially when the number of patients for check-ups peak.

Registered volunteer under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports, Nurafiqah Wasimah binti Awang Yahya, a fourth-year student at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) explained that they handle the check points section, help to hand over sanitiser to the visitors and work eight hours a day.

“We check the body temperature and screen visitors and give them a sticker, indicating that they are in good health,” she said.

Senior Radiology Officer of the Radiology Department Hajah Wan Aslina said the volunteers are only allowed to lend a hand at the main building of RIPAS Hospital, and not at the RIPAS Hospital Sport Complex which is considered a high risk area.

“Only the healthcare staff are allowed at the RIPAS Hospital Sports Complex to minimise the volunteers’ risk of infection,” she said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Medical Superintendent Dr Haji Muhd Nurhasanuddin bin Kelali, said staff working hours has increased, and once they report for duty, they are not allowed to go out.

“They are allowed to go home and keep in touch with their family members. We encourage them to change and take a shower before heading home,” he said, and added that a similar procedure is also taking place at the National Isolation Centre in Tutong.

“The public needs to understand that the restriction is for their own safety,” he said.