MELAKA, Feb 25 — The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) will activate Disaster Management Zones (DMZ) in all Armed Forces Hospitals (HAT) nationwide whenever needed, said MAF Health Services director-general Lt Gen Datuk Dr Zulkeffeli Mat Jusoh.
He said this preparedness had been planned over a long time and had also been improved, especially now that there was a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.
However, he said the current situation was easier to handle now, compared to the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the increasing number of individuals being vaccinated with both doses as well as the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We have activated the DMZ but when the cases subside, the DMZ team will return to its normal routine. However, we will activate it at any time because everything is ready,” he said.
Zulkeffeli said this to reporters after accompanying a delegation from the Bilateral Training and Consultative Group (BITAGG) involving the MAF and United States Indo-Pacific Command (USIDOPACOM), led by commanding surgeon general, Rear Admiral Pamela Miller, on a visit.
Commenting on the preparedness of the MAF medical team in helping the Health Ministry (MOH), Zulkeffeli said MAF Health Services will be mobilised if there is a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases resulting in higher patient admissions to hospitals, especially in the ICU.
“We have been informed that there is a high possibility of an increase in COVID-19 cases which will affect public health services,” he said.
He also said currently all MAF field hospitals have ceased operations with the longest operating period being 200 days in a hospital in Kepala Batas.
“As there are declining numbers in cases and patients in the ICU, the (DMZ) team is back to undergo training at their respective places,” he added.