Showing posts from 2020

Passing The Final DrPath Medical Microbiology Exam.

It has been a very long time since I post anything in this blog. The main reason for that was because of my final exam for DrPath in Medical Microbiology. I couldn't even think about anything else for the past few months. The adrenaline rush was beyond recommended level. That was an exaggeration but I do feel it that way.  The good news is, I passed the exam. I had this plan/draft on what to post here if I didn't make it but since I passed, now I have to think about something else to write here.  Now, every time people met me, especially those who are going to take the exam next year, will asked me on how I made it through. Everyone asking for the tips, which book to read, any notes to pass to them. To be honest, I also did not know how I did it. I just feel lucky. Maybe I am just lucky.  The only thing that I can share was how the exam was conducted. I feel that it is very important for any candidates to be familiar with the structure of the exam.  In UKM, our degree are calle

Election and COVID-19

As you all know, there was a little bit of political instability happening in Sabah leading to a snap election. I don’t want to talk much about politics, let them settle their stuff.   As a person working in the field of microbiology, people would expect my views on the election will be a total “No”.  “The pandemic is still going on”  “It is not wise to hold a snap election in this pandemic era”  “Think about the people. Dont risk people live for the election”.  These are some of the comments I have been reading in social media.  My views is actually on the opposite of these. It was shockingly not as everyone else expect.  In my opinion, if the election is required, do not stop it because of COVID-19. Fighting for democracy will be harder than fighting the virus. People should not be stopped to vote. It is the only thing that keeps us civilised. We could go back to the stone age with this pandemic. Even though we are living in a cave with no electricity, but if we still hav

The new norm or back to the old norm?

1. I have been busy for the past few months during the peak COVID-19 pandemic. We were involved in processing the sample, and we have to get the sample by ourselves since all other department closed their services and most of their manpower were transferred to the front line. We could not wait for them to come back,thus we in the back line have to step into the game and become the front liner ourselves. 2. The number of cases is significantly reduce nowadays. We were more relaxed in the beginning but when all the hospital started back their services, then the workload increase again. Even though people already thanked the front liner and all the front liner were sent back to their respective station, it was no end game. Everyone have to buckle up and start servicing more sick people after the movement control order. I believed there are more sick people now perhaps because all of them were keeping their illness at home during the MCO. 3. 31st May 2020 supposed to be my last day in

Malaysia lifting up MCO 'lock-down'?: A right but dangerous decision.

It was announced last Friday that Malaysia will be lifting up the Movement Control Order (MCO) or Restriction Movement Order (RMO) to prevent this country's economy from further collapsing into dust. Many netizens did not agree on the decision and start petitioning for the lift to be canceled immediately.  I believe it was not the best move by the government but it is necessary. There is no point in prolonging this 'lock-down' measure if we know that the virus will not be easily removed or eliminated. The government should have opened up the economy earlier, but to some, this is rather too radical and dangerous. Many forget the reason for the order to be implemented - to relieve the burden of our healthcare system. When the tabligh cluster emerges somewhere in early March, it was a necessary move to implement the lockdown due to our late containment of the attendees, and the huge number of people attending that event. There were no other measures as effective as

So much that we did not know on COVID-19.

I just finished attending a webinar about COVID-19. Webinar involved two prominent figures in fighting COVID-19. A top virologist and a top infectious disease in Malaysia. It was an amazing webinar. However, I can conclude that there were a lot of things that we did not understand concerning this new pandemic. A lot of things that did not go as we predicted. With our common knowledge on SARS and MERS-CoV, we thought that we have enough to prepare, to found out that the virus did not behave as it should. We can't control nature. We can't control how the virus wants to act. What we can do is just damage control. To limit the infection, and to reduce the mortality. However, knowing that there were teams of a distinguished person investigating this virus, give us a bit of reassurance. There is so much that we understand within a short period of time since December. Thanks to those amazing scientists, and also the technology that happens to be evolved enough for us to use. T

Covid-19. A battle that will be lost..

Have we ever won a battle between human and microorganism? Since the beginning of time, we were always a colonizer in this planet. Bacteria, virus, and all the simple organism have been living in this world longer than us. As more complex organism developed, the first thing that we do to survive in this world full of microorganism was to prepare ourselves to fight them. Our immune system was created or evolved specifically to fight this indigenous inhabitant of planet earth. If we look back to the previous pandemics, can we count how many time we have won against the pathogen? The pandemic ended, but do we claim the victory? Let us look to the recent MERS-Cov epidemic. It started in the Saudi Arabia in 2012. Since then, 858 deaths has been reported comprising of 35% from 2494 patients infected. Up until today, there are still a few sporadic cases have been reported(or non reported) but they only happen in the middle east. Can we claim victorious from this epidemic? We manage to contr

Why So many backlogged in Covid-19 test?

1. Because there are too many samples to be processed in a day. Not only the new case sample, but the lab also received repeat samples from inpatient and previous negative patients. If there are 1000 negative samples within 2 previous weeks, then there will be 1000 samples already booked to be processed this week. Unless decided that the person does not require repeated samples (asymptomatic, low-risk patients). 2. WHO recommends using 2 gene detection for Covid-19. If other labs use different gene then it will be much difficult. As far as I know, most labs in Malaysia use the same genes / similar genes detection. So this would make things much easier. Back to the 2 genes detection part, if one gene is detected and the other not detected, then how to interpret it? It will require repeat testing in such situation. As COVID-19 is a very new virus, and we understand only that much, it is better to repeat the test rather than make assumptions. Our lab, for example, use E gene detection

Stay At Home

Stay at Home to prevent Covid-19 transmission.