Hospital Queen Elizabeth II's intensive care unit (ICU), which was recently almost crippled due to Covid-19 infection among its nurses, is now running full steam.
It is learnt the capacity in the Kota Kinabalu hospital's ICU ward has been extended to 14 beds, while staff have returned after testing negative.
More than two-thirds of the unit's personnel were placed under quarantine after coming in contact with two ICU nurses who tested positive for Covid-19 earlier this month.
This forced the ICU to limit the number of patients under its care to only six.
HQE II does not treat Covid-19 patients but is also under pressure as it takes in non-Covid-19 patients transferred from Hospital Queen Elizabeth - a dedicated Covid-19 hospital.
Prior to the spike in cases in Sabah, Hospital Queen Elizabeth was also a tertiary hospital receiving referrals from other hospitals statewide.
Boost in equipment and supplies
Meanwhile, news of the strain faced by the HQE II's ICU also prompted private donations of equipment to the hospital, Malaysiakini understands.
This supplements the emergency personal protective equipment purchased by the ministry for Sabah this month.
It is learnt that the ministry also expedited purchases of more than RM1 million worth of critical
This was part of urgent purchases made by the ministry to support Sabah hospitals strained by the hundreds of Covid-19 cases detected daily.
In Hospital Queen Elizabeth, for example, frontliners who spoke on anonymity told health news website CodeBlue that severely ill Covid-19 patients have to queue for ICU beds.
Yesterday, Sabah recorded 528 new cases, bringing the state's total to 10,396 - or 42 percent of all cases recorded since Covid-19 hit Malaysian shores in late January.
A total of 85 people have died of Covid-19 in Sabah, 71 in this month alone.
To manage the high number of cases, the Sabah government said some "early-stage" patients are treated at home, while more severe patients are treated at quarantine centres or hospitals.
This is a departure from the Health Ministry's policy of isolating all who test positive of Covid-19, regardless of severity - a strategy credited as among the reasons Malaysia managed to contain the infection in the second wave of the pandemic.