Malaysia’s healthcare at the brink of collapse as cases remain high

The govt is also proposing to use UPM Hospital and UiTM Hospital as Covid-19 hospital, among others

by AZREEN HANI / pic by BERNAMA

HEALTH DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah warned that the country’s healthcare system could be paralysed as two states and two Federal Territories (FTs) have shown an increase in new daily cases exceeding the maximum capacity of hospitals.

They are the FT of Kuala Lumpur (KL), Selangor, Negri Sembilan and the FT of Labuan.

“The new daily cases reported showed no signs of reduction and even cases increased by an average of 2.6% over the past seven days. If this situation continues, the healthcare systems in those states will be paralysed,” Dr Noor Hisham said in his daily Covid statement yesterday.

For the past one week, the average number of new cases daily nationwide is 6,539.

“This is still high compared to the threshold value of less than 4,000 cases per day (or 12.2 new cases per day per 100,000 population). The threshold value of 4,000 new cases daily is set based on the hospital’s capacity to deal with unforeseen situations, the rate of case admission to the ward and the current case discharge rate,” Dr Noor Hisham added.

The states/FTs that recorded the number of new cases exceeding the value of 12.2 cases per 100,000 population were the FT of Labuan, Negri Sembilan, the FT of KL, Selangor, Melaka, the FT of Putrajaya, Sarawak and Pahang.

The Health Ministry has taken several actions to mitigate the situation such as converting several hospitals in the Klang Valley area as full Covid-19 hospitals. This involved Ampang Hospital, Sungai Buloh Hospital and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Children’s Specialist Hospital.

To further increase the bed capacity of Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL), Selayang Hospital and Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Klang Hospital (HTAR) will be used as treatment centres for Category 4 and 5 patients, Dr Noor Hisham said.

Non-Covid-19 patients are also being transferred to private hospitals, especially around HKL and HTAR through outsourcing mechanisms.

The government is also proposing to use Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Hospital and Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Hospital as Covid-19 hospital, among others.

Malaysia is expected to reach 800,000 positive cases today, as the country detected 7,097 new cases yesterday, bringing the cumulative positive Covid cases to 799,790.

More than half of the new infections were detected in the Klang Valley, with Selangor continuing to top daily new cases with 3,119 and KL with 1,005.

The number of patients currently seeking treatment in the intensive care unit reached another record high of 948, compared to 943 recorded the day before.

Some 441 patients are being intubated while the number of active cases nationwide stood at 74,344.

A total of 91 deaths were reported in the last 24 hours, where 10 cases were already brought-in-dead to the hospitals.

The death toll now stood at 5,768 in Malaysia so far.

Based on the latest data on July 6, 2021, the value of RT (infectivity) in Malaysia is 1.08. The FT of Putrajaya recorded the highest RT value (1.25).

Other states that recorded RT value above 1.0 were Pahang (1.18), FT of KL (1.16), Selangor (1.12), Kedah (1.11), Melaka (1.08), Sabah (1.04), Penang (1.03) and Negri Sembilan (1.01).

Meanwhile, the recovery rate in the country now reached 90% as 4,863 patients have recovered, increasing the cumulative cases to 719,678.

There are now 850 active clusters in the country, as 18 new clusters, where half of them were from the community, were identified yesterday.