KUALA TERENGGANU : For Mohd Adli Mohamad, the pain he had to endure after being tested positive for COVID-19 was nothing compared to the pain of being condemned and accused of being one of the spreaders of the disease.
He said having to deal with the criticism and cold treatment from his own people was even more painful.
Mohd Adli, 36, from Kampung Matang, admitted that he and his family members were having a tough time ever since one of them was identified as the index case in the Matang cluster, the largest COVID-19 cluster in the Hulu Terengganu district.
He said they had been the target of public outrage for allegedly causing 127 individuals to be infected with COVID-19 and the cluster was reported to have spread to three other villages and reached its fifth generation.
“For the people in Hulu Terengganu, especially those in Telemong, my entire family and I are extremely sorry for the problems you are facing right now and for having to live in fear due to the fast spread of the disease. But, what happened was not intentional, and certainly not to hurt anyone. Our hope is that the public will stop punishing us as it is very emotionally depressing,” he said when contacted here today (June 9).
Mohd Adli said his brother-in-law had returned to Kampung Matang in Ramadan to ensure that his wife was undergoing confinement comfortably after giving birth to their child.
“He had obtained police permission to travel interstate and had even taken the COVID-19 swab test and tested negative. Only God knows how he was infected with the disease.
“Soon after, one by one of our 48 family members (including brother-in-law’s family) were tested positive and were taken to hospital for treatment and undergo quarantine at stipulated locations.
“Maybe we were careless while socialising, causing many of our family members to be infected with COVID-19,” he said.
Mohd Adli said the cold treatment that he and his family received from the villagers, even when they had fully recovered from the disease, was so bad to the extent of forcing them to consider moving out of the village.
“It was sad and frustrating when one of us wanted to buy some essential items from a sundry shop here but get totally ignored by the owner for fear of being infected with the coronavirus, even when he convinced the owner that he had fully recovered.
“He ended up having to ask for permission from the authority to go to a supermarket located far from his home just to avoid causing disharmony in the village,” Mohd Adli said.
He explained that the family would never blame the villagers for the cold treatment as they knew that it was just a misunderstanding over COVID-19.
“Despite being told that we no longer infecting people, some of the villagers still find it difficult to accept it with an open heart.
“But we have to be strong in facing this challenge and hope that everything will return to normal soon,” he added while reminding all Malaysians to continue complying with the standard operating procedures to curb the spread of COVID-19 and also to avoid having to go through the same painful ordeal.