Sunday, 16 August 2009

H1N1

For all the measures being taken (so they claimed) or wonderful promises announced based on the comics newspaper, one only needs to hear it from the ground to see if it is true. Just as how one will have a better picture on the education system listening to parents of students rather than reading news, one will know what is happening regarding this H1N1 issue if you know someone who has been diagnosed as positive.

Having confirmed as H1N1 positive after a throat swap, Joe was turned away as that hospital was not an authorised institution to treat H1N1 patients. Having arrived at a designated hospital, Joe waited for 5 hours before he received attention.

And the attention that he received was being told to go home and rest as the hospital had ran out of bed. Diagnosed as positive!!!!... and being told to go home and rest!!! Is it a surprise that we now have 200+ new cases a day?

Thank God, Joe is not a doctor-say-go-home-rest-so-I-go-home-lor type of person. He made some calls, leveraged on his connections and got himself warded in another hospital.

But how many out there are as wise as Joe? How many will “go home as rest” as instructed AFTER being diagnosed as H1N1 positive?

Next…

Joe’s office was alerted of this and the decision of the management was to quarantine the whole dept…… in the office! Because the company did not have a “Business Continuity Plan”, work needs to be done so the entire dept, together with people who deals directly with Joe, continue to report to work.

Yes, people may die. Yes, people in the dept who may not have been infected may now be infected. But that is not important. Work is more important. I told a colleague of Joe that if he is infected during the quarantine period, sue the fucking company.

And you know what? The head of that department took leave…

I am sure some of you have read about how a journalist of TheSun wrote rubbish in his H1N1 declaration form upon returning from overseas and it was never detected. Do these forms serve any purpose?

I have 2 friends who told me that they saw the guy behind the so-called thermal camera at the airport soundly asleep while travellers walked past the checkpoint.

A brief conversation with a doctor doing her housemen-ship locally told me that it’s absolutely chaos in the local hospitals.

I don’t know about you, but I have absolutely no faith in this country’s ability in handling this pandemic. Months ago,
I blogged about how this pandemic will put this country’s bolehness to the test. And now, what I hear from a colleague is that Malaysia has one of the highest death rates per 100,000 population compared to other countries.

After years of throwing a blind eye on deterioration in public administration in the name of self-protection, fear and “good food”, I think we will now be made to pay, perhaps even with our own lives.

I hope I am wrong.

1 year ago…
The ultimate gym conversation

2 years ago…
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29 comments:

KGC said...

Zewt, I am travelling right now, transitting a couple of places. Believe it or not, this is not only happening in Malaysia. Other countries as well, including our neighbour seem to be treating this virus very lightly. And there is no detection done upon arrival, only some awareness cards were distributed.

Theodwyn said...

Aiyor... chill lar... its only a flu.

Honestly, there is no need to panic over H1N1. While its true H1N1 is transmitting more effectively than seasonal flu, the symptoms ARE only that of seasonal flu. The death rate seems at the moment to be lower than seasonal flu, and the symptoms have not been shown to be any worse.

Most malaysians panic over big words like 'pandemic'. On top of that, most malaysian are used to calling the basic cold a 'flu'. This is leading to people being very upset when they get an actual H1N1 flu and it lasts for 2 weeks.

To put it simply, I'd rather get H1N1 than dengue, or malaria, or Hep B. All 3 of which I have a higher chance of catching if I'm living in Malaysia.

So people... please relax and enjoy your two week break if you get the flu. Drink lots of water, get lots of bed rest, and get some DVDs. Your body will fight it off and you'll end up being stronger for it.

MKL said...

When I was in Malaysia, I saw that you have 2 kinds of hospitals, the run-down government ones and the neat and clean private ones. We don't have this here. We have single payer health insuring and everyone has to be covered by law. And also the treatment is usually very good. That is really a big difference compared to Europe. I don't mean to say everything is better here, but some infrastructure really is. You lack behind in these aspects. I wonder where the government is putting the ringgits.

On the other hand, chill Zewt! Malaysia boleh! ^^

pavlova said...

zewt, i think there's gross misinformation about this in Msia.

many people seem to be afraid of this and they keep forwarding all these 'emails' about swine flu information, which clearly shows that they can't trust the press.
and few days ago there was "discussion" in the ministry on whether they should disclose the places which record the highest number of swine flu.

well, nz was one of the first that detected and caught on this swine flu. ( and reported it to WHO and to the public subsequently).
we were doing the whole quarantine thing at one stage, anybody that was suspected with the H1N1 virus was quarantined at home, and so were their colleagues.
schools, kindergartens etc were closed.

then hospitals were isolated etc.
after a while, the Health Minister then deemed that it's no use quarantining, because the numbers kept going up. as it was in conjunction with the regular winter season here, there was a higher risk of contracting it too.

at first Tamiflu was rigorously given to anybody that was suspected. the government then was stocking up on Tamiflu too. but after a while, they too declared that not everyone with H1N1 will be given Tamiflu, unless you are immunocompromised, i.e you already have underlying medical conditions.
All they tell you to do is rest at home, lots of fluids, lots of painkillers.
At the moment, the numbers of H1N1 in Aus/ NZ seemed to have dwindled down... Maybe the cold from the winter might have something to do with it... but I think information to the public has been good and at least the public is kept informed and no panic was necessary.

The H1N1 really is not much different than the normal flu. It probably is a little bit more potent, but it kills just the same amount of people (if not lesser) than the normal flu.
The best way to is to go to less public places, have your hand sanitizers ready, wash your hands frequently and if you do get it, get some rest and painkillers.

But then again, hygiene practices in Msia can be questionable sometimes.. so maybe that's where the problem lies...

Anonymous said...

I would like to comment on MKL's statement:-
"When I was in Malaysia, I saw that you have 2 kinds of hospitals, the run-down government ones and the neat and clean private ones"

I was once admitted in the Sungei Bulloh Govt Hospital and the facililities were top notch. The service I got from both doctors and nurses was very good. The cost for staying at a first class ward for 3 night....RM1. Compare this to the so called exclusive private hospital thar I stayed for 2nights. The cost was more than RM2,500 and the service was totally crap. The doctors are only money minded. Lets not start about the so called hospitals and health service in the land of the all mighty and always correct westerners....Pls do not condemn govt hospitals. The govt hospitals in Malaysia are eqiuipped with some of the best facilities and dosctors who are sincere and hardworking. When was the last time anyone of you visited a govt hospital. I visited one in June and I was extremely happy.

Anonymous said...

I would like to comment on MKL's statement:-
"When I was in Malaysia, I saw that you have 2 kinds of hospitals, the run-down government ones and the neat and clean private ones"

I was once admitted in the Sungei Bulloh Govt Hospital and the facililities were top notch. The service I got from both doctors and nurses was very good. The cost for staying at a first class ward for 3 night....RM1. Compare this to the so called exclusive private hospital thar I stayed for 2nights. The cost was more than RM2,500 and the service was totally crap. The doctors are only money minded. Lets not start about the so called hospitals and health service in the land of the all mighty and always correct westerners....Pls do not condemn govt hospitals. The govt hospitals in Malaysia are eqiuipped with some of the best facilities and dosctors who are sincere and hardworking. When was the last time anyone of you visited a govt hospital. I visited one in June and I was extremely happy.

MKL said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MKL said...

@Anonymous, I'm not saying all government hospitals are bad and all private good, but what I saw, was like I said before. And Malaysians themselves told me about these 2 kinds of hospitals and what is better. And you can read the people's comments here. Maybe it's better in big cities, but go to small towns and rural areas and you'll see a different picture.

I don't want to offend anyone in your country, but I don't take your criticism very seriously.

You sound like someone from the government commenting as an anonymous. It's like I am reading propaganda leaflet before an election.

Anonymous said...

@MKL
Msian govt healthcare is very well funded, and is on par with private hospitals. Also, ppl from the govt don't comment as anonymous on blogs hahahaha...joke of the day

@Theodwyn
Right on!

MKL said...

ppl from the govt don't comment as anonymous on blogs hahahaha...

This is for me joke of the day. I know they do. They even set up fake blogs, but Malaysian bloggers are way smarter, they see thru these kind of nonsense.

Why are you anonymous then? Why not link to your blog or twitter? I don't expect you to post ur real name, but I at least link to my blog. Where can I find out more about you to see that you are really not from gov.?

Theodwyn said...

@MKL

Ok.. I'm not from the government, and while I do not use my real identity, I'm not anonymous, does that give me more right than mr anonymous to comment? (fyi, zewt knows my real identity, so as far as the blog owner is concern, I'm not anonymous at all!)

I don't know, but I'm going to say this.

You're not wrong regarding the hospitals in Malaysia, we do have TWO types of hospital, but Mr.anon was not wrong either. My parents and a grandparent are both elderly and are all under government care. They get routine follow up appointments, at the hospital and at the gov. clinic. And all of them, have on occasion, had surgery under government hospital care.

While you do not get the valet parking and the 5-star service, what you get under government care are specialists who stayed in government service to help people. Yes, there is a long waiting list, but if you're really ill, you WILL get seen, not only that but you also get follow up and checked upon regularly.

The waiting list may be very long, but from our experience, that is entirely due to necessity. If you have glaucoma, you will get surgery within 1 month, if you have cataract, you may have to wait 6 months, but its all in relation to how long you can wait. Will you die or go blind if you wait a bit longer from cataracts? No, but with glaucoma you will.

I am in no position to say what's better, government care which is slow and steady, or private care which is always money first or else.

Over here in the UK, I'm relying on government care, and so far I have no complains either.

Anyway, I've written enough, and I only intend to provide a dissenting view.

MKL said...

@Theodwyn, first of all, how can I know you? I'm just reading this blog for a while now and I don't know who's behing what anonymous. But you @-ed me, so I felt compelled to respond. If you would have commented like now, I would have had a totally different impression. I understand you much better now and I understand your opinion from your perspective.

As you can read my initial comment, I just said the government hospitals were run-down, lacking infrastructure, I didn't say the doctors were bad, because I don't know. But my Malaysian friends complained over the government hospitals and in their case, they decided to pay more just to get the proper service.

That is somehow in line with what Zewt said A brief conversation with a doctor doing her housemen-ship locally told me that it’s absolutely chaos in the local hospitals.

I really hope Malaysia can handle a pandemic, because that's what Zewt was talking about. But one can have doubts, when you see how some facilities are not up to date. That's all. And no offence, k ;-)

pavlova said...

MKL... fm experience, a lot of malaysians don't like being criticised by a foreigner :P
heck they don't even like being criticised by a fellow malaysian.

they get pretty defensive about the country, even though deep down we all know that it's flawed.
i've come to learn that in order for a country to improve, we must be able to accept criticism and accept change. but i guess not everyone shares that view, or maybe they say they do but they don't really.
so these days i've shut up :P

so yeah don't get too personal about it =)

MKL said...

Well, pavlova, I agree. Reading Zewts blog and his followers, I'd say Malaysians are very smart and know what is right and what is wrong and usually nobody would react in a sense "you're a foreigner-don't criticise". If that was Singapore, boy, they'd block me from the forum :P (a bit joke, a bit true, ain't it?)

Well, I don't mind people criticising my country, if they been here and made up their minds. I always say I love Malaysia, because I really do. But some things need improvement. And that goes for my country as well.

I base my observations on the fact that I lived with my ex and her Chinese family and they and her friends told me a lot of stories about what Malaysia appears to the tourist and how the system is working. I hate it, if people think I'm just trying to criticize and feel like in superior. I am not. And usually Zwet tells is the best, I only add my 2 cents.

And as for Theodwyn, i just got the wrong impression of him, because he posted 2 times the same message and as anonymous... Later he clarified and I'm cool :)

mumsgather said...

"I have absolutely no faith in this country's ability in handling this pandemic."

I believe that is the whole point of your post and probably why Malaysians are so worked up over this. It is not panic or gross misinformation. It is lack of trust and lack of faith and judging by the numbers and the stories we hear so far, can anyone blame us for feeling that way?

Swee Ping said...

I've heard about the hospital turning away patients because they ran out of beds. Can the govt designate more hospitals looking at such cases?

Hmm.... actually there are companies that asked the staffs to continue working although there has been few positive cases but yet.... just continue working because cannot afford to not open cos damn worried bout the company going to make less money.

Sighing, such is our life as citizen and modern slave.

pinknpurplelizard said...

What the health ministry does can be partly a joke. A colleague of my fren came back on a flight sitting next to a person infected with H1N1. The health ministry just told him to quarantine himself at home but his wife and kids can continue life as usual. Hurray to the Health ministry for their good protocols.

missironic said...

im not sure if this is true.. but wat i heard.. our hospitals will only attend to those who are in serious condition (abt to die that kind). if this is true, no wonder the number of deaths in msia is rising daily. It's like those lives are meant nothing...

Well, as i said im not sure if wat i heard is true... may correct me if im wrong. :)

zewt said...

KGC - yeah, i heard australia is also taking things rather lightly, i guess we will never be scared unless it goes full blown.

Theodwyn - i have got a friend who got infected, went into the hospital and discharged after 3 days. to him, h1n1 is nothing. there is another person who was infected, admitted and went into ICU. tell her if h1n1 is not serious and she will give you a piece of her mind. it's all relative. to us who have not been infected, we can only comment... i guess.

and in relation to specialists in govt hospital, i know they are there out of a good service-ful heart, but i have once been turned away before because they think i was not serious, and that i think, is bad enough.

MKL - wonder where... hmmm... dont even get me started. and oh yes, when you go to small town, hospitals are horrible. having said that, i know there are private hospitals which are pretty crappy too. by the way, theodwyn is a she. :)

pavlova - i understand that the seasonal flu is just as deadly. however, malaysia does not experience seasonal flu. we dont have such "experience"... and hence, this will be a challenge. regardless, i know a lot of worry parents out there. and in order for this country to improve, it's not just about accepting criticism, it's to really change.

anon 17/8 3.24pm - i have heard of good stories about that hospital too. but i guess one should also not discount the fact that with a few good remarks, there are also a huge dose of horrible experiences by other people. to each its own, i guess we have to count our lucky stars when our time comes. while govt hospitals are well funded, i doubt whether these funds are actually being channelled to the institutions.

mumsgather - that is right, we dont have faith, basically no faith in every single thing. besides controlling street protests and probably petronas, i dont think this country has effectively done anything incredibly productive. think proton.

swee ping - ppl ask me how can the h1n1 be stopped, i said... when humans place lives ahead of money. when that happen, h1n1 can be fully eradicated i am sure.

pinknpurplelizard - and this is exactly what i mean by idiotic sub standard measure of handling things as a result of continuous depleting competence in public administration.

missironic - based on joe's case, i wouldnt doubt that.

zewt said...

anon / theodwyn / MKL / pavlova - and oh... i love debates! :)

jacss said...

haha....zewt u surely enjoy the debate as much as i do, LOL!!
well, like u said...we don't really experienced such flu pandemic bf, how can we not be nervous & paranoid esp for those with young kids :)
to me it's better to be safe than sorry...

jam said...

I had recently just landed at LCCT from China. One girl just behind me was diagnosed with high temperature. She was asked (rather than led) to see nurses somewhere at the corner. She herself was so freaked out that she went to queue at immigration counter, and then got out unnoticed! So now what's the purpose of this thermal checking thingy!

Pauline Yap said...

pauline yap was here.

Purple~MushRooM said...

Hmmm.. I winder why H1N1 death rate is so high in malaysia. It's shocking.

zewt said...

jacss - i think parents have all the right to be panic because their children is at stake. i am sure more can be done. and i had a conversation with a doctor friend the other day... let's just say, it's disappointing.

jam - this is what i called... the malaysian way of doing thigns.

pauline yap - i see you.

purple mushroom - and if you factor in those unreported cases....

Theodwyn said...

Hey hey hey... Don't confuse me with the anon okay.. DIFFERENT PERSON!!!!

zewt said...

Theodwynn - hmmm... did i?

Theodwyn said...

Not you.. MKL thinks me and anonymous are the same person though... =(

zewt said...

Theodwyn - in the heat of the moment perhaps :)... do forgiven him.