Witnessing the birth of their child is one of the biggest milestones for any parent. But unfortunately for one couple, they were stuck on different sides of the Causeway.
Jack Daniel, a Malaysian, missed the birth of his first child after he decided to stay in Singapore throughout Malaysia's partial lockdown, he recounted in a now-viral Facebook post on March 22.
The movement control order (MCO), announced by the Malaysian government on March 16, bars citizens from travelling overseas from March 18 to March 31 in an effort to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In his heartrending post, Daniel, who works at Certis Cisco, explained that he had chosen to stay in Singapore during the MCO period for work and to avoid putting his family at risk of contracting the virus.
Alas, his wife, who had been in her third trimester when the lockdown was announced, began experiencing labour pains on March 21.
She even had to transfer hospitals after doctors detected a high fetal heart rate. Fortunately, she delivered their baby girl smoothly at 1.30am on March 22, Daniel said.
"I have to endure all the pressure and tensions of becoming [a] father for the first time virtually. I missed the opportunity to help my wife during her hardest time and failed to be [by] her side during the most historical time of our marriage life," he wrote.
Even after the MCO, he will have to quarantine himself for 14 days before he can see his daughter.
Daniel concluded his post with a plea for members of the public to practice social distancing, writing: "We sacrifice our family needs for you, you please stay at home for us."
His appeal comes amid reports of Malaysians flouting the MCO and leaving their home for meals and leisure activities.
Under the MCO guidelines, all public and private premises, except those providing essential services, have to be shuttered. Restaurants which remain open are not permitted to serve dine-in customers.
However, Malaysians have been spotted out and about at public parks and coffee shops.
The Malaysian government announced it would deploy the army from Sunday (March 22) to enforce the movement restrictions.
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