GEORGE TOWN, Oct 11 — The intensive care unit (ICU) bed occupancy for Covid-19 cases in Penang is on a downward trend and it has dropped to 83.3 per cent, said Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
He said there are now a total of 101 ICU beds for Covid-19 cases and if the need arises, the state health department can set up eight additional ICU beds, four each at the Penang General Hospital and the field hospital at its car park.
“With the decreasing ICU occupancy and an increase in ICU beds as planned, it is hoped that we can reduce the ICU bed occupancy to 50 per cent to allow Penang to transition to phase three of the National Recovery Plan,” he said in a statement today.
Another 10 ICU beds will also be made available at the field hospital at Kepala Batas by the end of the month, he added.
The Penang lawmaker said Penang has recorded a decreasing number of Covid-19 cases where it recorded less than 600 cases over a two-day period.
He said when the country enters the endemic phase, it is expected that most cases will fall into the asymptomatic category or those with mild symptoms due to the high vaccination rate.
“The public must remain responsible for their own health by taking self-tests and self-isolation at home if they experience symptoms and to seek medical help at the nearest hospital or clinic if their symptoms worsened,” he said.
Generally, he said the state’s health facilities must be fully prepared to accept Covid-19 cases with symptoms, either by hospitalising the patients or placing them at the low-risk Covid-19 treatment and quarantine centre (PKRC) for close observation.
He said the existing facilities at public hospitals and PKRC will be maintained for now until the trend of Covid-19 cases at the endemic phase has stabilised.
“Surveillance activities will be increased to trace the trend of the disease to ensure that we can take appropriate action early,” he said.
On the use of the antiviral medication, Molnupiravir (Merck Molnupiravir), he said the state health department is still awaiting further instructions from the health ministry on its usage for Covid-19 patients in the state.
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