Health DG: 3rd wave of Covid-19 will stretch us thin

by S BIRRUNTHA/ pic by RAZAK GHAZALI

THE country will face a third wave of Covid-19 infection if the public ignore the standard operating procedures set by the government.

Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (picture) said if there is a sudden increase in daily cases of the coronavirus, the country’s health facilities will not be able to accommodate high loads of positive cases.

He added that the situation will further weaken and incapacitate the healthcare system in Malaysia.

“People need to take precautionary measures to prevent new cases from escalating. Last week alone, there was an increase of 120 cases and new clusters.

“If that continues to happen, health facilities in the country will not be able to treat that many patients,” he said in his Covid-19 press conference yesterday.

The country yesterday recorded seven new Covid-19 cases involving four import cases and three local transmissions among citizens.

Three cases involving Malaysians were detected through pre-operation testing in Sabah hospitals — two at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu and one at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Likas.

As for the four imported cases, one infection was reported each from Pakistan, Russia, Australia and Indonesia.

The new cases yesterday brought the country’s overall total to 8,904.

There are now 179 active Covid-19 cases being treated at health facilities nationwide.

No Covid-19 patients were being treated at the intensive care unit as of yesterday.

One patient was discharged, increasing the total recovered cases in the country to 8,601, which equals to 96.6%.

There were also no new deaths recorded yesterday, maintaining the country’s death tally at 124.

Meanwhile, Sarawak recorded the highest number of new Covid-19 cases, in which 48 cases were reported between July 19 and 25.

Apart from Sarawak, two other states had also recorded high increases in new cases — namely Johor (29 cases) and Selangor (24 cases).

Following the highest case recorded in Sarawak, Dr Noor Hisham said the Health Ministry has sent a special team to the state to review and provide views on the transmission and management of infections.

“The team consists of public health physicians and pathologists, among others. They are working closely with the multidisciplinary team in Sarawak,” he noted.

Dr Noor Hisham had also announced that the Bukit Tiram cluster in Johor has been identified as a target group for the Covid-19 transmissions.

The cluster is under focused approach, as it involved import cases from the Philippines.

The Bukit Tiram cluster was detected from a Catholic church and religious activities in several other states.

He said tracking activities for the cluster are being carried out and individuals with symptoms are required to immediately contact the nearest health clinic or the district health office for treatment.