Doctor Infected With COVID-19 After Patient Lied!

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A doctor shared how she was infected with COVID-19 by an asymptomatic patient who lied about being sick.

May this incident remind everyone why they should be completely honest with healthcare professionals.

Don’t put our last line of defence in jeopardy!


COVID-19 Patient Lied On Entering Hospital

On 23 December 2020, Nur Marini Zainal shared how she was infected by an asymptomatic patient who lied about being sick.

The patient came to the hospital for a CT scan appointment. When he was screened at the entrance, he did not have a fever and claimed he was not sick.

Nur Marini was the doctor who prepared the patient for his CT scan, including explaining the procedure and setting up the IV line and so on.

So it was a shock when the CT scan of the patient’s lungs looked like that of a COVID-19 patient.


Doctor Infected With COVID-19 After Patient Lied!

On further questioning, he finally admitted that he was sick for about a week – with a cough and fever.

He only started feeling better, and so came for his CT scan appointment. He was confirmed to be positive for COVID-19 two days later.

At first, Nur Marini was considered a low-risk contact because they were both wearing surgical masks. And even though she had to touch him to set up the IV line, it was only for less than 15 minutes, and she practiced good hand hygiene.

Unfortunately, she was not wearing full PPE (like these healthcare workers in this sample picture below) because they are in short supply and therefore restricted to those treating high-risk patients.

Doctor Infected With COVID-19 After Patient Lied!

Even though she was not required to take a COVID-19 test or self-quarantine, she took a test for her own peace of mind.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 test came back positive two days later, and she was immediately quarantined.

Nur Marini Zainal COVID-19 test result

She was naturally very sad when she found out she was positive for COVID-19, because :

  • she would have to be separated from her children and husband during the quarantine
  • she was worried about infecting her family and colleagues during the past 2 days
  • she was disappointed in her patient who lied about being sick

This is why you should NEVER lie to any healthcare worker about being sick. It doesn’t matter if they are a doctor, a nurse, or even the healthcare assistant screening you at the hospital entrance. DO NOT LIE TO THEM!


Over 1,800 Healthcare Workers Infected With COVID-19

As of 21 December 2020, the Malaysia Ministry of Health (KKM) screened over 52,000 healthcare workers and 1,880 of them turned out to be positive for COVID-19.

This is the risk that every healthcare worker treating COVID-19 patient have to put up with, with 33% of these infections alone from infected colleagues.

These healthcare workers are our LAST LINE OF DEFENCE. We need to protect them, and the least we can do is be honest!


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