The Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) implemented in certain areas nationwide has been a life-changing situation for many. Previously, during the Full Movement Control Order (FMCO), the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were more relaxed and going out to buy groceries and attending medical appointments were less troublesome. However, the SOPs for the EMCO areas are more complex, indeed.
Despite the strict SOPs, some still find it difficult to access resources in times of emergencies especially, when it comes to apartments guarded by barbed wires and the police force. A recent story exposing the horrors of the SOPs, which actually managed to claim the life of an unborn child, went viral this week.
The devastated young mother involved claimed that she lost her unborn child after the police force in charge of guarding her apartment, at Bandar Baru Sentul, stopped her from leaving home for a medical check-up. This occurred although she was scheduled for a doctor’s appointment on 6th July and in addition to that, she had also informed the police that she was bleeding.
The woman, who was nine weeks pregnant was finally allowed to go to her regular clinic after bleeding for 3 days. However, the doctor stated that the child has died. Prior to that, she was scheduled for a check-up on 6th July as a scan on 26th June showed that she was bleeding hence, categorizing her as a high-risk case. When the EMCO was imposed in their residential area, on 3rd July, however, the police forbade both herself and her husband from leaving and they were forced to contact the mobile medical team, out of no choice — which arrived after 3 arduous hours of waiting.
They were asked if they would want to be referred to the Kuala Lumpur Hospital but they still had to wait while the case was being referred to a gynaecologist. Shockingly, the doctor stated that the woman’s case was normal and was also told to take her medicine and call 999 if she began bleeding heavily. The only things provided were some tablets and a sick leave chit!
Despite this, she continued bleeding therefore, on 9th July her husband went to the police to inform them of her worsening condition, in which, they finally allowed him to take his wife to the clinic. Sadly, when they arrived, they were told that there was no heartbeat from their unborn child.
“It was on 9th July, on my birthday with a dead child in my womb,” the 29-year-old told FMT. “I am so sad. I want this to go public to create awareness so that no one is denied treatment for a medical emergency. I hope no other mother loses her child because of EMCO.”
Following this sad news, Sentul district police, in a statement, confirmed receiving a complaint on the matter. In addition to this, Sentul OCPD assistant commissioner Beh Eng Lai said investigations revealed that the husband was advised to refer the matter to the health ministry officers who were also on duty at the EMCO area.
News of the wife’s plight came to light, after Dr Thanussha Francis Xavier, the Vice President and Co-Founder of Parti MUDA shared this story on social media, chiding the government for allowing non-medical personnel to make medical decisions in terms of SOP in deciding what is a medical emergency and isn’t.
“Bagi kes kecemasan seperti mendapatan rawatan kesihatan atau kematian adalah DIBENARKAN setelah mendapat kebenaran daripada PDRM.”
This is the danger of allowing non-medical personnel to make medical decisions in terms of SOP in deciding what is a medical emergency and isn’t. pic.twitter.com/vusA8EhvAj
— Dr Thanussha 🏴🇲🇾 (@DrThanussha) July 15, 2021
Nevertheless, the higher authorities in charge of EMCO areas should definitely have some empathy for people undergoing life or death situations. It’s indeed truly confusing for people when the rules and the implementation vary from one another.