When tragedy strikes, it knows no place, time, race or religion. A local non-governmental organisation – Baitus Solehah in Johor Bahru that provides refuge for pregnant teenage girls who have been mistreated, harassed, assaulted or abandoned had unfortunately been struck by COVID-19.
67 of its occupants including 22 babies were tested positive for this novella coronavirus. Muna Liza Ismail or affectionately known as ‘Mak Liza’ is the Manager of Baitus Solehah and she has confirmed that the babies were aged from 10 days to a year and 37 teen girls and women aged between 15 and 32 were affected.
She said she and her husband were also tested positive for the disease. According to a timeline in their social media, the first positive case at the shelter home was detected on 28th January when one of the occupants complained of feeling unwell before being rushed to the hospital for further examinations.
Though no one is pointing their fingers at the shelter home, Mak Liza apologises to those affected by this unfortunate predicament. Mak Liza also shared that prior to this; none of them have left the shelter home except for making clinic or hospital trips. They have also complied with the standard operating procedures including wearing face masks and maintaining social distance.
A kind soul, Mak Liza has been looking after the girls under her care as her own for many years without any discrimination, aptly winning the Iskandar Malaysia Social Hero Awards (IMSHA) for Human Empowerment in 2019. Meanwhile, several IMSHA winners have donated baby milk powder and other necessities in this time of need.
At the moment, the exact source of contracting the virus is still unknown and under investigations. All occupants who were tested positive had been taken to Enche Besar Hajjah Khalsom Hospital in Kluang and Permai Hospital here in Johor Bahru. The others will remain quarantined at the shelter.