The Selangor Health Department said the Maeps Quarantine Centre in Serdang is currently over-capacity for Covid-19 patients under Category 3.
“The situation at the Maeps Quarantine Centre is getting more challenging due to the increasing number of Category 3 Covid-19 patients.
“Initially, Maeps only had 60 beds for Category 3 patients in January but now there are 757 Category 3 patients in Maeps and there are plans to increase the capacity to 1,000 beds to support the healthcare system in the Klang Valley in line with the hike in Covid-19 patients recently,” the state health department said in a statement today.
It noted that currently, Category 3 patients are placed in halls near the makeshift intensive care unit (ICU) so they can be closely monitored whereas patients under Category 1 and 2 are placed in Hall DG.
The quarantine centre also tries to separate Malaysian and non-Malaysian patients in the hall the best they can, it said.
“Maeps also thanks and welcomes the complainants who highlighted the issues related to the admittance process, and will review and improve the process from time to time,” the department said.
Category 1 and 2 patients are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms while Category 3 patients have moderate symptoms.
The Maeps Quarantine Centre was initially meant to house low-risk Category 1 and 2 patients but has expanded to include Category 3 patients due to the increasing number of daily Covid-19 cases.
The Selangor Health Department was responding to a number of postings on Twitter that had gone viral, complaining about the process of registering at the Covid Assessment Centre (CAC) at Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam as well as the situation at Maeps Quarantine Centre.
A woman on Twitter related her father’s experience after his RTK-Antigen test came back positive. She said the family was told by the Health Ministry that her father did not need to take an RT-PCR test and that he should head straight to the Stadium Melawati CAC the next morning.
PCR tests are considered more accurate than Antigen tests.
However, when her father finally reached the front of the line at the CAC, he was informed by the doctor there that they require results from an RT-PCR test. Her father was told to return home, she said.
Another man who tested positive for Covid-19 also took to Twitter to share his experience of waiting nine hours at the Stadium Melawati CAC before having to wait two hours to get registered at the Maeps Quarantine Centre.
He also said he was shocked to see he was sent to a converted parking area with double-decker beds in Maeps.
He was asymptomatic, along with many of those sent to Maeps with him, he said, but after going through the process of getting admitted into the quarantine centre, he developed a cough.
The bed he was assigned to was also occupied by someone else, and he was asked to “just find an empty bed”, he added.
He also alleged there were no proper showers provided and they were expected to use a hand bidet by the toilet to shower.
The man said he felt very stressed by the situation and sorry for all those in the same boat as him as they deserve better living conditions as Covid-19 patients.
Cases impacting workload at CAC
Later in a separate statement, Selangor Health Department said the increased number of cases was directly impacting the workload at the CAC.
The CAC is where people who tested positive will be evaluated whether they need to be hospitalised, put into a quarantine centre or home monitoring.
It also said the congestion at the CAC is caused by the use of the RTK antigen test, which is being used due to the overwhelming number of cases in Selangor as well as to speed up the treatment process.
“If you test positive using RTK antigen, you need to do an RT-PCR test if there is no epidemiological link. If the case has a strong epidemiological link, there is no need to do RT-PCR as you are already considered a confirmed Covid-19 case.
“This is the practice in Selangor because there are huge numbers of cases and we need to speed up the treatment process for the patients.
“If all RTK antigen results are taken into consideration, the worry is that there may be false positives,” the Selangor Health Department said.