Govt mulls repurposing UKM's Children Hospital to treat Covid-19

Govt mulls repurposing UKM's Children Hospital to treat Covid-19
Govt mulls repurposing UKM's Children Hospital to treat Covid-19

The Health Ministry is looking into the possibility of turning Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's (UKM) Specialist Children's Hospital and Cyberjaya Hospital into designated Covid-19 treatment facilities, according to its director-general.

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the proposal was discussed at a meeting between the Health Ministry and UKM.

"Malaysia saw a 60 percent increase in ICU admission nationwide compared to the previous two weeks, while the Klang Valley recorded an increase of over 94 percent compared to the same period.

"The utilisation of Covid-19 beds in the Klang Valley is now over 100 percent.

"As a measure to address the sharp increase in Category 4 and 5 Covid-19 cases which require ICU beds, the Health Ministry and UKM met to discuss the proposal to use UKM's Specialist Children's Hospital as a Covid-19 hospital," he said on Facebook yesterday.

Located beside Chancellor Tuanku Muhriz Hospital in Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, Noor Hisham said the teaching pediatric hospital has a capacity of 243 beds, including 28 adult-sized beds which have the potential to be used to treat Covid-19, especially those with serious symptoms.

Under Section 3 and 4 of the Emergency Ordinance 2021, he said the ministry can take temporary possession of premises and resources, including human resources of a teaching hospital and private hospital to combat Covid-19.

Besides UKM's Specialist Children's Hospital, Noor Hisham reportedly said the ministry was also considering the new Cyberjaya Hospital.

Apart from maximising the capacity of government hospitals, the ministry has also roped in private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients.

In a letter dated May 20 to private hospitals, Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry needed their cooperation following an increase in Covid-19 patients.

Infections surged in mid-April, passing the 2,000 daily new cases mark and increasing threefold in less than 40 days.

Yesterday, the country recorded 6,320 new cases and 50 deaths. This was the fourth day in a row that daily new cases exceeded 6,000.