ICU bed capacity in Sarawak govt hospitals at critical stage, says health director

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State Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing speaks to reporters in Kuching July 30, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)
State Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing speaks to reporters in Kuching July 30, 2020. — Picture courtesy of Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

KUCHING, May 16 — Sarawak Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing today warned that the bed capacity of intensive care units (ICUs) in government hospitals in the state has reached a critical stage.

He said the situation is bad especially at the Sibu and Kapit hospitals, as more seriously ill Covid-19 patients are admitted.

Dr Chin said at present, 71 Covid-19 cases are in critical conditions at the ICU wards, including 26 requiring intubation to help them breathe.

“At this moment, only the government hospitals in Sarawak can provide such protection services to the critically ill patients due to Covid-19 infections,” Dr Chin said in a statement.

He said since February 13 this year Sarawak has recorded over 100 Covid-19 cases a day, with the cumulative total now standing at 38,383 cases.

He said as of today, there are 81 active Covid-19 clusters compared to only16 in the middle of February 2021.

Dr Chin said most of the clusters happened from large gatherings including weddings, birthdays and social activities such as gotong-royong which should have been avoided.

“Apart from that, the clusters also originated from workplaces, funerals, longhouses and educational institutions due to the failures to comply with the standard operating procedures (SOPs).

“Even the number of deaths due to Covid-19 infections have also risen since February this year,” he said, adding that during the past two weeks, there were 27 death cases reported in a week.

Dr Chin urged the public to comply with the SOPs set by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC).

“The Covid-19 variant B.1.517.2 that originated from India has been detected among the patients in Malaysia on May 2 this year, and if the variant is found to have entered Sarawak, it is capable of paralysing the health service within a short time.

“Therefore, the state Health Department fully supports SDMC’s decision to continue with the enforcement of the conditional movement control order (CMCO),” Dr Chin said.

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