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UMP associates share stories in fighting COVID-19

PEKAN, 17 September 2021 - The current pandemic requires us to continue to abide by every standard operating procedure (SOP) set to free the country from being colonised by silent enemies and it is a highly demanded struggle from the people right now.

In fact, the current situation is comparable to the war situation, which requires the people to have a high patriotic spirit and fight together against the enemy that claimed many lives and freedoms.

Feelings of grief will surely envelop every individual who has lost their loved ones from COVID-19.

For Senior Executive, Graduate Development Department (JPG), Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP), Halizan Mahmood, the loss of his beloved father due to COVID-19 had a profound effect on her and her family.

“For the sake of the health of my parents, I am willing to bear the longing for more than a year not to return to my hometown in Shah Alam, Selangor.

“However, who would have thought that my father was initially being examined and treated at the hospital but later was infected with COVID-19.

“It was more painful when I could only observe the funeral online shared by my family, and everything happened so fast,” she said.

Until now, she and her family members are still traumatised by the loss of their loved one due to COVID-19.
She shared this story recently as one of the Bicara Merdeka panel organised by the Registry Department titled ‘Hikmah di Sebalik COVID-19, Merdekakah kita?’
It was another story from the Administrative Assistant (Clerical/Operation), Faculty of Chemical and Process Engineering Technology (FTKKP), Nor Asikin Salleh, who was also infected with COVID-19 with her one year and five months old daughter.

She said that she was 20 weeks into her pregnancy, which required her and her daughter to receive treatment at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Afzan (HTAA) Kuantan.
“Throughout receiving treatment and the dreadful moments at HTAA, I would like to thank all the doctors and nurses who always provided the best service.

“Not forgotten were my friends, neighbours and the UMP management for sending foods and necessities for my family,” she said.
Meanwhile, according to the Head of the Internal Audit Unit, Mohd Akram Abdul Razak, his experience at the COVID-19 Low-Risk Quarantine and Treatment Centre (PKRC) was invaluable and gave him a lot of wisdom.
“The most worrying moment was when I received a message from the Ministry of Health Malaysia (MOH) informing me that I was infected with COVID-19 a few days before Muslims celebrated Eid.

“However, as a Muslim, I must always accept the test with an open heart,” he said.
He was one of the 1,200 COVID-19 patients housed at PKRC Gambang.

He added that while at PKRC, he found that the COVID-19 patients placed here were as young as two to 75 years old and of various religions, races and countries.
“Even though we hailed from various backgrounds, position and rank did not differentiate us; on the other hand, we all cooperated and helped each other in doing various things, in line with the tagline introduced by the Prime Minister of Malaysia, ‘Keluarga Malaysia’.
“My beautiful experience here was when all Muslim patients performed prayers in congregation five times a day.

“Besides that, all patients were very disciplined, especially when queuing for food and health check-ups.

“Friendship blossomed between patients and we shared a lot of experiences and encouraged each other,” he said.
At the same time, he was very touched by the university’s efforts through the Islamic and Human Development Centre (PIMPIN) that held Yasin recitation programmes every week to pray for the well-being of UMP associates.
The Deputy Dean, Institute of Postgraduate Studies (IPS), Professor Ir. Dr. Ahmad Razlan Yusoff also shared his experience with his family who were also infected with COVID-19.

He said the initial challenge was when he and his wife were housed at different PKRC locations.

“It was a challenge for me to manage my children who missed their mother.

“Nowadays, technology is a great aid in times of longing; video calls connect people and soothe their lonely hearts.
“Alhamdulillah, even though I was confirmed positive, I did not have any symptoms,” he said.

“It did not stop me from carrying out the tasks and responsibilities through Google Meet and Google Classroom. Today’s online technology has many benefits and is more practical to use,” he said.
The event was broadcast for almost two hours via UMP Malaysia’s Facebook page with 300 viewers.

Also present were the Registrar/Chief Operating Officer of UMP, Hazmin Aris delivering the opening remark in conjunction with the Closing Ceremony of the Independence Month Celebration officiated by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Affairs & Alumni), Professor Dato’ Ts. Dr. Yuserrie Zainuddin who is currently appointed to perform the duties and functions of the UMP Vice-Chancellor.
In his speech, he hoped that UMP associates could appreciate the spirit of independence by always cultivating a caring attitude towards each other.

UMP associates were also urged to work together to make the national vaccination programme a success to achieve herd immunity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, given new variants of the virus identified in the country.
He said that we fought the enemies in front of us using firearms in the past, namely the communists, but now the war we face is completely different because the enemy we face is more violent and dangerous.

“In fact, it cannot be seen by the naked eye, but it is all around us.

“In the blink of an eye, it can be life threatening.

“Therefore, the shields that we have are only by complying with the SOPs set and by being vaccinated,” he said.

By: Nor Salwana Mohammad Idris, Corporate Communications Unit, The Office of The Vice-Chancellor

Translation by: Dr. Rozaimi Abu Samah, Engineering College/Faculty of Chemical and Process Engineering Technology

Reports by:
Siti Nur Azwin binti Zulkapri