Covid-19 patient claims health personnel at quarantine hotel didn’t have proper post-discharge information

Health personnel based at quarantine hotels should provide adequate information to Covid-19 patients, instead of leaving them in a quandary.

So said a Malaysian who tested positive for Covid-19 upon returning from work abroad, recently.

Suresh Singh, an engineer who returned from Miami, Florida, in the United States on June 30, said he was surprised that the team based at Saujana Hotel in Subang were unaware that there was a new private Covid-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) in the Petaling district.

They had insisted that he could only go to the CAC at the Malawati Stadium in Shah Alam to have his wristband removed upon completing his quarantine at Saujana Hotel.

He also wondered why the medical team at the hotel could not cut his band when he was allowed to leave yesterday as the CAC at the Malawati Stadium was closed on Sundays.

“Being tested positive for Covid-19 in itself, is an ordeal. It’s only fair that a patient is given the right information and the assurance we need on our road to recovery,” said Suresh, 44.

“Malaysia has been battling Covid-19 for close to two years. It seems that we still struggle to get the basics right.”

Suresh had first stayed at another hotel in Subang Jaya upon his return from the USA.

On the 10th day of his stay there, he underwent a swab test. Two days later, he was informed he had tested positive for Covid-19.

“I was told that I had to leave the hotel immediately and head to a quarantine centre. The medical personnel there told me I could either go to Maeps (Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang) or book a premier hotel,” said Suresh.

MyEG Services Bhd, had in February, launched SafeQ – an online website that offered hotel accommodations and amenity options to low-risk Covid-19 patients who wished to undergo mandatory quarantine requirements in a more comfortable setting.

“I was told I had to stay at the new Covid-19 quarantine hotel for another 10 days. So, I booked a room at Saujana Hotel in Subang.

“The medical team at Saujana Hotel checked on me daily and monitored my oxygen levels and temperature.

“As I had a slight cough, I had requested some medication and was told that I had to purchase them. So, I bought some cough mixture and phlegm tablets and paid RM35.”

Suresh’s 10 days in quarantine at Saujana Hotel ended yesterday and he was given a discharge letter that was signed by a doctor based there.

“To remove the band, I was told that I could only go to the Malawati Stadium CAC, but it’s closed on Sundays. As such, I was told that I could extend my stay at the hotel and head to Shah Alam the next day (today).

“No one based at the hotel told me about the existence of a private CAC in the Petaling district. I only found out about it from a relative.”

Suresh explained to the medical personnel in Saujana Hotel that he had planned to return to Perak on the same day. Yet, they insisted that he had to get it cut at the CAC in Shah Alam the next day.

He wasn’t alone, as an American woman who had completed her quarantine at Saujana Hotel, also faced a similar predicament, as she had to head to Penang yesterday.

“The American woman’s driver and car were already at the hotel, waiting to take her to Penang. The team at Saujana could not tell us why they couldn’t cut our bands despite having a medical team there and knowing of our predicament.

“I’m sure there are many others who stay outside Kuala Lumpur and would want to immediately head home, instead of spending another day or two here.”

He said the personnel stationed at Saujana Hotel made him and the American woman wait for more than an hour as they were not able to offer any solutions.

“I got tired of waiting and headed straight to the CAC in Petaling Jaya.”

The private centre, located at Jalan 51/217 off Jalan Templer, started operating on July 15. It was set up to ease the burden at the Malawati Stadium – which was the only CAC in the Petaling district that was reportedly receiving over 2,000 patients daily, despite having a limited number of staff.

“There were about 10 people in the air-conditioned room at the new centre. I was there for about an hour before I met the doctor.

“I had asked the medical personnel there when my MySejahtera status would be updated since I’m no longer in quarantine. She said it would take about a week or so.

“Also, I had asked the doctor about the second Covid-19 shot that I missed while I was observing quarantine. I was told to update my status in the mobile application and that MySejahtera would give me a new date.”

Suresh paid RM95.40 to get the wristband removed.

“I just wished the communication and coordination were clearer. If I had not been informed about the CAC in Petaling Jaya, I would have had to cancel my work commitments and extend my stay for a day in Subang and waste another day at Shah Alam.

“I also hope that officials based at quarantine hotels and centres are equipped with the right information so that they can answer our queries immediately. I still wonder about the American woman’s predicament and if she made it to Penang, or was forced to stay in Subang for another day,” he added.