Medical experts share the truth about COVID-19

By Siti Zulaikha Zukefli

GOMBAK, 4 September 2021: The final episode of #YouMatter held last night discussed the truth about COVID-19 from the lens of two medical experts – Dr. Mohamed Asri, a Medical Officer in Anaesthesia and Critical Care, and Dr. Nurul Yaqeen, a Respiratory Physician (Pulmonologist). 

According to Dr. Yaqeen, the origin of the word corona comes from Latin which means crown, and the virus structure seems surrounded by crowns which makes it easily to be attached to the respiratory tract and go to the nose, throat and lungs. 

“Critical patients have to get treatment in the hospital, and patients are identified with stages 3, 4, and 5,” Dr. Yaqeen added.”

“Stage 3 happened when the white patches appear on the x-ray, in stage 4 the patient needs oxygen assistance, and in stage 5, the patient depends on the machine for respiratory aid. 

Nevertheless, Dr. Yaqeen claimed that recently the number of patients admitted to the hospital has been reduced compared to a month ago.

There are no longer patients waiting for their turn to be admitted and the ward is no longer full. She believed that the vaccination had influenced the cases of COVID-19. 

There are some individuals who prefer to pick the types of vaccine before getting vaccinated. The majority of Malaysians preferred to get Pfizer BioNTech, and less prefer the AstraZeneca vaccine.

However, Dr. Asri advised the audiences not to be choosy when getting the vaccination as all vaccines have the same function. 

In spite of people being encouraged to get vaccinated, there are some individuals who refuse to take it. Dr. Asri believed that it happened when people have less knowledge in the field, and search the information mainly from false sites. 

Dr. Asri said: “We should not treat the anti-vaccine as a criminal as they have made their own effort too. So, the best way is to educate them through education process and to get them to join our effort.”

Dr. Yaqeen encouraged medical doctors and researchers during their leisure time to use social media platforms to educate and spread the knowledge of science and technology. It can help to counter the anti-vaccine and prevent false information from spreading rampantly.

In this pandemic, Vitamin C has been a hot-selling item among people as it is claimed to improve immunity in the fight against COVID-19. However, Dr. Asri stated that over-consumption of Vitamin C from health supplements brings more harm than good, as it can badly impact the human body, especially the kidneys.

Therefore, Dr. Asri suggested that people get their Vitamin C from their meals such as eating tomatoes, spinach, and a glass of orange juice, and not relying on health supplements.

When we talk about COVID-19 situation, we know of the sacrifices of the front liners. The situation has never been the same as before as they have to work extra hours to assist the patients. 

Dr. Asri said that it took 15 to 30 minutes to wear a full set of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) before attending to the patients. Being a doctor who is involved with COVID-19 patients, he already had swabs for 15 times. 

Despite the challenges that Dr. Asri had to face, he always motivated himself before going to work. He asked, “What can I do to make the patient cured?”

He also mentioned that the doctors would try to motivate themselves by saying, ‘Today is better than yesterday, and tomorrow is better than today’. 

The talk ended with Dr. Yaqeen advising everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to always observe the SOP (Standard Operating Procedures). 

#YouMatter programme series is a collaborative effort by IIUMtv supported by several entities under the Department of Communication and Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences. ***

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