KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 – A woman allegedly gave birth to a baby at the lobby of Menara City One here, which is under total lockdown, as ambulance services arrived late.
“Youlanda recalled how one of her close friends, who lived on a different floor, ended up giving birth at the condominium’s lift lobby due to a delay in emergency medical services arriving,” Channel News Asia (CNA) reported yesterday, citing a resident of the building, Mel Youlanda.
The pregnant woman called for an ambulance at 6.30am after her waters broke, but the ambulance only arrived at 8am at the Jalan Munshi Abdullah apartment.
“If we were not under lockdown, someone could have driven her to the hospital but all the residents were locked in. So, she gave birth downstairs while waiting for the ambulance,” Youlanda was quoted saying.
The building has been under Enhanced Movement Control Oder (EMCO) since March 30 after an occupant who attended the Sri Petaling tabligh event tested positive for Covid-19. CNA reported that so far, the building has 54 positive cases and one death.
No one is allowed to enter or leave the condominium, and armed police and army personnel tightly guard the area.
Youlanda also added that she did not receive medical care for her gastric pain until the next morning.
“When I was sick, I had to call the condominium management, and it was late at night so they told me I had to wait until 8am the next day to see a doctor,” she claimed.
Residents that wanted to see a doctor can only do so between 8am and noon each day at the ground floor.
“My pain at my stomach was bad so I pleaded for a doctor but they insisted that I only come down the next morning,” she lamented.
“I’m worried because what if this was a real emergency, would we still need to wait until the next day? It’s a nightmare, I don’t know what else to say.”
Apart from that, they are also struggling to get basic healthy food and necessities, she said.
Earlier in April, Senior Minister For Defence, Ismail Sabri Yaakob promised that food will be provided for those in EMCO areas; and these people will be able to buy essential items “by placing a request with the operations centre within the premises.”
Yet Youlanda was quoted to say this isn’t the case in Menara City One.
They do not receive wholesome food; and the government’s aid mainly comprised uncooked rice, flour, sugar, eggs, canned sardine and instant noodles.
“We had hoped for vegetables, fruits like papayas or bananas, chicken and fresh fish but we got none of this. There’s no point having many plates of rice when there’s no wholesome dishes to accompany them,” she said.
As face-to-face communication is restricted to curb the spread of the virus, making requests for necessities to the officials is not easy.
“Beside fruits and vegetables, I’d also like to request for things like shampoo, soap and detergent to keep me and my house clean. But I’m not so sure how we can convey this to the officials,” she added.
EdgeProp recently reported that despite all entry points being blocked, food delivery service providers are allowed but only until the lobby where they deliver the food.
Separately, residents who are also under EMCO in Selayang are undergoing a similar ordeal. As at April 23 (eve of Ramadan), a migrant worker told The Malay Mail that they have not received food aid.
“These areas that are under lockdown, there are about 10,000 people who live there. All of them have not received any food since the first day of the lockdown,” said the worker.
“We tried again to send food this morning, but were told to leave by authorities on the ground. We don’t know what else to do to help them. They are my friends and relatives. I can only cry.”
Another migrant worker who lives in Taman Sri Murni flats said their food supplies were meagre.
“We received a bottle of cooking oil, a packet of milk powder and a five-kilogramme rice pack.
“But I wasn’t sure what I could cook with these items. For us, we still have some eggs, but last night, I just fried rice with oil and salt,” the worker was quoted as saying.
The residents have requested for the government to allow operation of sundry shops within the EMCO area to allow them to get their needs met.
“He said residents were not demanding to be provided with free food, but were only asking that stores selling essential goods be allowed to open so they could stock up or resupply,” the Malay Mail added.