Health Ministry: Second low-risk quarantine centre opened in Labuan to handle Covid-19 cases

Jerry Choong
·3-min read
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah at a press conference in Putrajaya October 27, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah at a press conference in Putrajaya October 27, 2020. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 — The Health Ministry has opened a second Covid-19 low-risk quarantine and treatment centre (PKRC) in Dewan Perbadanan Labuan, to treat the rising number of cases in the federal territory.

Health director general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the centre commenced operations today.

“The second centre has 140 beds, and increasing the number of beds in Labuan’s PKRCs to 317,” he said in a statement.

The second centre has 140 beds. The total number of beds in all of Labuan’s PKRCs is now 317.

The second PKRC is part of the Labuan Health Department’s efforts to increase the existing capacity to treat Covid-19 cases throughout 2020, which is divided into three phases.

“Phase One from January to March was to turn visitors’ homes (rumah pelawat) and wellness centres into PKRCs, with 16 beds at the time.

“Phase Two from March until September is the maximisation of space in Labuan Hospital with an additional 105 beds, increasing the existing capacity to 121 beds,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

The third phase which began in September involves negotiation to use outside facilities as PKRCs, thereby adding the bed capacity by 56 and bringing it to 177.

“The opening of the Dewan Perbadanan Labuan PKRC is part of the cooperative effort between the National Security Council, the police, Labuan Corporation, the Taiwan Buddhist Tzu-Chi Foundation Malaysia, the Industrialisation Training Institute, among others, which enabled the centre to be opened within 24 hours.

“The workforce for the new centre will fully utilise the Labuan Health Department’s own, with assisting teams sent from elsewhere to Labuan. The teams will be upgraded from time to time to ensure the Covid-19 control programme in the territory runs smoothly as planned,” he said.

The ministry’s statistics indicated a significant rise in infections for Labuan, starting on September 27. Prior to this, since the start of the pandemic until September 26, Labuan only recorded a total of 26 cases.

From September 27 until today, Covid-19 infections surged to 366 cases, with a cumulative number of 392 cases. This led to the federal government declaring a conditional movement control order for Labuan, which began on October 17 and has been extended until November 13.

The Labuan Health Department, anticipating further plausible infections, has been conducting large-scale targeted screening in potential areas, with an average of 1,500 to 2,500 tests daily. Since September 27, the number of RT-PCR test samples collected is 23,807.

In addition to the low-risk centres, 20 beds out of the 122 in Labuan Hospital have been set aside for Covid-19 patients in Stages Four and Five, making them High Dependency Unit and Intensive Care Unit beds in the first-class ward and children’s ward.

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