JOHOR BARU: There has been a lot of media attention on the government’s efforts to ensure hospitals can handle the Covid-19 pandemic by designating special centres for patients and ensuring that all preventive measures are followed.
But this also meant that many people have avoided going to hospitals and clinics for fear of getting infected, or under the misconception that the medical centres are too busy to care for them.
The truth is, the public need not worry about seeking medical treatment or for an emergency during the Covid-19 pandemic, as there are many hospitals and clinics statewide to handle such patients.
Johor health and environment committee chairman R Vidyananthan said that presently nine hospitals were handling non Covid-19 related cases.
“These hospitals are in Johor Baru, Muar, Batu Pahat, Segamat, Kota Tinggi, Kulai, Mersing, Pontian and Tangkak.
“We also have 10 district health offices, 98 health clinics, 261 rural clinics, 33 community clinics and two haemodialysis centres statewide, ” he added.
He stressed that during the movement control order since March 18, some 8,905 births were recorded statewide with 6,044 babies born in government hospitals, adding that during the same period some 3,792 operations were also performed.
Vidyananthan added that presently only four health facilities with 1,856 medical personnel were handling Covid-19 cases statewide.
The health facilities are the Sultanah Aminah Hospital and Permai Hospital in Tampoi, both in Johor Baru, and Enche Besar Hajjah Khalsom Hospital in Kluang. The other facility is the Health Ministry’s training institute in Johor Baru.
On the easing of restrictions during the conditional movement control order (CMO) beginning Monday, Vidyananthan reminded the public that it was not a “ticket” for them move about freely.
He added that people should use this period to learn to practise and adapt to the new normal.
“We are also reminding all industries especially those in the sundry business to adhere to the guidelines issued by the local councils when operating, ” he said, adding that those failing to follow the standard operating procedure (SOP) would face legal action.
Vidyananthan said that on the first day of the conditional MCO, three areas were inspected in Kulai.
“This was a concerted operation comprising various agencies and two premises were given notices to close as they did not adhere to the guidelines, ” he said, adding that the operation was conducted by the health department, police and local council.
He added that a proper SOP would be issued by each of the local councils in the state soon.
“Despite the many reactions with regards to the conditional MCO, the state government believes that this decision was not done hastily but would have taken into consideration views from everyone including the agencies involved in handling the Covid-19 crisis, ” he added.
Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad announced that Johor was implementing the Federal Government’s conditional MCO with minor changes.
He said the conditional MCO would be carried out based on what the state’s local councils can handle.
“The local councils will decide their SOP based on their enforcement capabilities.
“We want to ensure every agency is well-prepared as we need greater cooperation from everyone to flatten the Covid-19 curve, ” he added.
Meanwhile, Vidyananthan stressed that the new normal was for people to take steps to be healthy including practising social distancing, wearing face masks, washing their hands regularly and to sanitise premises at least twice a day.
“We should also practise proper hygiene to prevent the spread of infections and also to stay away from gatherings including attending open houses, games which involve human contact, or visiting entertainment outlets, ” he added.