An Indian association told TNM that they got in touch with 21-year-old Vishnu, who is safe and has been tested negative.

news Coronavirus Thursday, March 26, 2020 - 18:04

Vishnu was visibly trying to hold back his tears when he started recording a video sitting at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a few days ago. The 21-year-old man from Kollam district of Kerala feared he had COVID-19.

“I have been sneezing and experiencing throat pain for the last two days,” he said in the video that is being widely shared online. He went to a hospital in Malaysia, where he works, hoping to consult a doctor and check if he contracted the virus. But he was allegedly met with harsh treatment, which prompted him to send out a distress call for help through the video.

“Everybody here has been speaking roughly. I told them I do not speak Malay, and had to ask them to speak in English,” he said. 

“When I told them that I would like to see the doctor or undergo a test for coronavirus, the staff said they will give me treatment but that I need to pay 100 Malaysian ringgit (Rs 1,740). I have been waiting here, asking them to at least check if I have coronavirus as I have the symptoms of the disease,” he alleged.

“I wish I was in India,” he added, “I would not have faced such issues. The Kerala government is giving free treatment.”

Vishnu, however, explained why he could not pay the consultation fee and get himself checked. “It is the end of the month. I spent a huge amount on renewing my visa. I am left with only 30 ringgit. I have been surviving on bread and water for the last three days. A packet of bread costs 3 ringgit. I don’t have money and nobody is here to take care of me,” he said, as his voice began cracking.

“They are not worried if a person has symptoms and may spread it (the disease)... This is the situation if one seeks medical help outside India… they need money,” he alleged.

After the video started going viral, an association called Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) Malaysia and the Indian Embassy in Malaysia immediately got in touch with Vishnu and took him to a hospital.

“Vishnu was scared when he posted the video. But we took him to a hospital and got him tested. His test results showed negative for coronavirus,” a spokesperson of Malaysia KMCC told TNM, adding that the 21-year-old has access to food, accommodation and is safe in Malaysia. 

 

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Posted by PG Johnson on Tuesday, March 24, 2020