Feature

On The Frontlines: Cleaner Puts Hand Up, Risks Health To Do Job

Just like the medical staff looking after COVID-19 patients, Ms Buli was in close contact with them. She opted to work in the isolation wards as her colleague stepped back.
21 May 2020 10:37
On The Frontlines: Cleaner Puts Hand Up, Risks Health To Do Job
Ilisapeci Buli (left) all suited up and in her everyday attire (right).

Ilisapeci Buli was a cleaner in the Nadi Hospital Isolation Unit.

She was one of the first wave of support staff, who had been involved in the COVID-19 response for a month-and-a-half since March.

Just like the medical staff looking after COVID-19 patients, Ms Buli was in close contact with them.

She opted to work in the isolation wards as her colleague stepped back.

“Many of us were nervous because we had seen how people were dying from COVID-19 around the world, but I was confident because of my faith in my God and I put my hand up to work in the wards,” Ms Buli said.

“The doctors and nurses I worked with were so supportive. Even though our work environment was infectious we got through each day.”

Ms Buli said apart from her work, she would spend time talking to those admitted at the isolation wards.

“I encouraged them to be cheerful and stay positive. I befriended them and we continue to keep in touch now,” she said.

Ms Buli’s children are grown-up and some even have families of their own. Her youngest daughter is at university.

After the mandatory isolation period, Ms. Buli returned home to a pleasant surprise, her family members had prepared a feast and put up a welcome sign, celebrating her safe return.

Ms Buli said the recovery of COVID-19 positive cases should not make Fijians complacent.

“We are very fortunate, but we must not ignore the advice on handwashing, physical distancing and going to get seen if you have a fever” or other flu-like symptoms,” she said.

“Simple steps that help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback: shalveen.chand@fijisun.com.fj


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