Centre for mild cases half full

Mastura (right) visiting the Mara Education Centre turned LRCC in Jawi. – Bernamapic

FINISHING the first cycle of 10 days, the low-risk Covid-19 centre (LRCC) at Mara Excellence Centre in Jawi, south Seberang Prai on mainland Penang, is at 50% capacity.

The LRCC, which can house over 1,000 low-risk Covid-19 patients, currently has 550 patients, said its secretariat Capt Sehgar Chaliyah.

Capt Sehgar said this was the first cycle of 10 days for those quarantined at the centre.

“We currently have 550 patients here as of Wednesday, which is 50% of our capacity.

“There are two blocks assigned to the patients.

“Block 2 houses 498 beds assigned for women, and Block 3 has 510 beds assigned for men.

“They are separated based on Category 1 and Category 2, meaning their symptoms.

“There is a designated road and route for them to be brought in, so we do not engage with them, ” he said when met at the LRCC in Jawi.

Capt Sehgar, who is from the Civil Defence Force, said there had been challenges but they managed to deal with them.

They discharged 37 people on the eighth day on March 17, while another 70 people were discharged yesterday.

“We have discharged people over the course of the 10 days if they test negative and are given the green light to go back.

“We have had to send people back to the hospital. If their health deteriorates and they are a Category 3, we cannot house them.

“They need hospital care, ” he said.

Capt Sehgar was briefing the media after Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Datuk Mastura Mohd Yazid spoke to personnel during a work visit yesterday.

“The LRCC would operate until the cases in Penang go down.

“Most of the people here are foreigners while the remainder are Penangites, ” said Capt Sehgar.

The Mara Excellence Centre was picked as an LRCC after the state government requested for an additional location as a quarantine centre from the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma).

The LRCC at Mara Excellence Centre is currently the biggest centre in the northern region and can accommodate about 1,000 patients in four halls in two blocks of the centre.

The state currently has two other centres – Caring Society Complex in Jalan Utama, which has 150 beds, and Balik Pulau Sports Complex with 432 beds. Both are on the island.

The centres cater to Category 1, comprising positive cases with no symptoms; and Category 2, for positive cases with mild symptoms.

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