by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN
A MORE extensive observation should be implemented for the mild and Category 3 Covid-19 patients to reduce the number of fatalities that occurred at home, said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture).
Dr Mahathir said Category 3 patients who are ordered to quarantine at home should be hospitalised due to the high risk while Category 1 and 2 patients should be monitored closely even though they are being categorised as “mild”.
“More than a thousand Category 3 patients can be quarantined in temporary hospitals. The military can build a field hospital. The halls in the hotels and other buildings can be equipped with beds, oxygen tanks as well as medical officers and nurses.
“When the condition of a patient has become more serious and needs breathing assistance, the oxygen supply is near. If there is a lack of response, the patient can be transferred to a regular hospital.
“Visits by a team of doctors and nurses should be provided for Category 1 and 2 patients who are quarantining at home,” he said in an online post.
Dr Mahathir said the practice of home quarantine poses a great risk as a Covid-19 patient has the tendency to become severe and needs hospital equipment such as breathing assistance.
“We are seeing the number of deaths due to Covid-19 has been increasing dramatically. Every day almost 400 people die and some of them are brought in dead.
“Why is this happening now? The reason is that the number of infections is very high and it is not possible for all those infected to be hospitalised.
“The current practice is severe, which requires oxygen and uses equipment for those who are admitted to the hospital, the Category 4 and 5,” he said.
Yesterday, Malaysia reported a total of 282 deaths due to Covid, with almost a third, or 98 cases involving brought-in-dead (BID) cases.
The number of BID cases continued to increase in the past few weeks.
Dr Mahathir added that the lack of medical observation at home also could be threatening to Category 3 patients who should be put in the hospitalised category.
“Category 1,2, and 3 are directed to home quarantine. There are no nurses or oxygen supplies at home. Category 3 patients, who have been shown to have an infected lung, could not get the proper treatment at home.
“The family cannot help because they cannot be close to the patient. The doctor could not be called and when the patient becomes worse and does not have access to oxygen supplies, eventually the patient will die.
“I believe this third group can be saved. Temporary hospitals that are only supplied with oxygen assistance can be established,” he said.