maximum hospital capacity Covid-19 healthcare system Four states have recorded an increment of daily Covid-19 cases that exceeded the maximum capacity of hospitals in their states with over 38 cases for every 100,000 residents

By Kumara Sabapatty

KUALA LUMPUR – Four states have recorded an increment of daily Covid-19 cases that exceeded the maximum capacity of hospitals in their states with over 38 cases for every 100,000 residents.

The states are namely Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Labuan, said the Director-General of Health, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The new daily cases did not show signs of improvement and continued to increase at an average rate of 2.6 percent for the past seven days.

According to him, if this situation goes on, the healthcare system in those states would be crippled and the same situation could happen nationwide.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that the seven-day average new daily cases from 30 June until 6 July 2021 is 6,539 cases and it is still high compared to the threshold of the National Recovery Plan of less than 4,000 daily cases or 12.2 new daily cases per 100,000 residents.

“The 4,000 new daily cases threshold was determined based on the capacity of the hospitals to face contingency situation, ward admission rate and current discharge cases,” he said in a statement today.

The states recording new cases exceeding the 12.2 cases per 100,000 residents threshold are Labuan, Negeri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Melaka, Putrajaya, Sarawak and Pahang.

It is even more concerning that the admission trend of Covid-19 cases into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) is still very high without showing clear reduction since the 23th Epidemiology Week (EW) from 6 until 12 June.

At the moment, the ICU beds usage still exceeds 90 percent, he said.

At the same time, the frontliners are facing burnout syndrome as they need to fight many cases for an extended period of time.

Worried about the current situation, Dr. Noor Hisham explained that the MOH has taken immediate action to increase the capacity of treating Covid-19 in the field such as turning several hospitals in the Klang Valley as full scale Covid-19 hospitals like Ampang Hospital, Sungai Buloh Hospital and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Specialist Children’s Hospital.

“We have also increased the bed capacity in Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL), Selayang Hospital and the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Klang Hospital (HTAR) as treatment centres for category 4 and 5 patients, transferring non Covid-19 patients to private hospitals especially around HKL and HTAR through the outsourcing mechanism.

“Therefore, we are also considering to change the status of Shah Alam Hospital to treat Covid-19 cases, upgrade the usage of normal ward bed for the treatment of critical patients, increase the bed capacity of patients at the Covid-19 Quarantine and Treatment Centre (PKRC).

“Besides that, the suggestion to use Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Teaching Hospital and Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Hospital as Covid-19 hospitals, working with 112 private hospitals especially in the Klang Valley for the treatment at common ward and ICU beds,” he said.

The MOH also encourages the set up of more Private Low Risk Quarantine Centres (PKRCS) and to mobilise more healthcare workers from states with Phase 2 PPN to critical states, mobilising staff from private hospitals and to encourage the involvement of volunteers in the activities of outbreak control and vaccination. –MalaysiaGazette

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