Dr Kelvin Yii

KUCHING: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii is officially the city’s first patient who recovered from Covid-19 after being quarantined at the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH).

Dr Yii tested positive soon after Sarikei MP Wong Ling Biu tested positive for Covid-19 on March 14.

Dr Yii recalled that he met Wong on March 2, but after 14 days he did not have any symptom or sign of Covid-19.

“I was worried about myself and the people that I had interacted with. During my self-quarantine rule I followed the guidance from the Health Department.

“Then on March 16, the Health Department suggested that I went for Covid-19 screening as a pre-caution and to get clearer results. By evening, around 5pm, I was told that I tested positive and needed to be quarantined at the Sarawak General Hospital,” he said.

He was admitted to SGH late that night and he observed that all the doctors and nurses were very helpful and professional. They took his blood for daily testing, did temperature checks and checked his vital signs which included a chest x-ray to investigate his respiratory system.

Dr Yii’s first hospital meal after admission to the hospital for quarantine.

He was placed in an isolation ward for a week during which his temperature was checked daily and his vital signs were checked twice a day.

Regarding what were on his mind after he tested positive, Dr Yii admitted that he was worried about people that he had interacted with, especially those closest to him.

On the hospital staff, he was very grateful for their dedication to their jobs.

“I say we must support and show appreciation for all the frontliners. Honour them for their commitment and sacrifice,” he said.

On March 23, after a week of quarantine, Yii was discharged. Having showed positive signs of recovery, the doctors requested that he took another swab test about one to two weeks later to confirm the recovery.

“So I took the swab test on April 2, and the result showed that I tested negative of the virus.

“So with that, I was released from my home quarantine. Even then, I still take precautions and follow the directive of the Health Department,” he said.

Dr Yii said that he was really happy to rejoin his team to fulfil the needs of the community during this tough time.

Dr Yii’s letter of discharge from SGH.

“I was informed that I am the first Covid-19 patient to be discharged from hospital in Kuching, maybe Sarawak,” he said.

“During my quarantine in the hospital, I witnessed the ‘best of humanity’ on display when I saw the doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, including the cleaners, work so hard just to keep us safe and protect the rest of the community.”

Based on his experience, Yii said there were two things about the Covid-19 pandemic that wanted to tell the public.

First of all, he wants the public to maintain good hygiene and always monitor their health because virus can go undetected, just like what happened to him. He advised people who had close contact with a patient of Covid-19 to immediately seek help at a hospital.

Secondly, he highlighted the stigma faced by patients who tested positive for Covid-19. He wished the public would empathise with them and be supportive instead of judging and criticising them.

“The stigma could discourage more people from undergoing health screening to determine if they have been infected,” he said.

“Nobody wants to get infected or infect others. While I understand that things were out of my control, I still struggle with the thought that I could possibly infect another person, albeit unwittingly.”

Dr Yii added that the “guilt” (even though it may not be our fault) was not something he would wish on anyone. That’s why he felt that it is the time people to support one another instead of putting down people who tested positive (or even suspected to be positive) for the virus.