ESSENTIAL supplies and protective gear are very much needed by frontliners to run the field hospital at Kepala Batas Hospital in Penang meant to treat critical Covid-19 patients.
Lt-Kol Dr Mohd Zamri Deraman, who is the field hospital’s commanding officer, said they welcomed contributions like face masks, isolation gowns, drinking water, sanitiser, body and hand wash, laptops, computers and printers, foldable tables and other supplies.
“We welcome these supplies as they will come in handy for those on duty here, ” he said.
Asked if there were plans to increase the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds at the field hospital, Lt-Kol Dr Mohd Zamri said they would have to if the Covid-19 cases continue to rise. The hospital has 27 beds at present.
“For now, we will focus on this project but it will depend on the government’s needs and logistic resources before we increase the space or capacity, ” he said.
Earlier, Lt-Kol Dr Mohd Zamri received 3,000 isolation gowns from Buddhist Tzu Chi Merits Society Malaysia in aid of the frontliners at the field ICU.
He said the gowns would be helpful, adding that the ICU began operations yesterday.
The society’s commissioner Khoo Boo Leong said they acted immediately upon learning the needs of the field ICU.
“We must appreciate the frontliners who are doing their best to curb the Covid-19 infection.
“Besides isolation gowns, we also provided them with 5,000 face masks earlier, ” he said.
Khoo said on behalf on Tzu Chi, he would like to express gratitude to the Malaysian Armed Forces and Kepala Batas Hospital for setting up the field ICU for the benefit of Penangites.
“With the clinical support services provided by the field ICU, we are confident that critical patients will be given the best treatment in our fight against Covid-19 in Penang.
“We are committed to supporting the frontliners in any way possible.
“It is important for us to support them with the resources we have, ” he said after presenting the isolation gowns.
The field hospital, located in the compound of Kepala Batas Hospital, can accommodate 24 high-risk Covid-19 patients at one time and help those suffering from respiratory difficulty with ventilators.
Penang Health Department director Datuk Dr Asmayani Khalib was quoted as saying that Penang was in dire need of a field ICU, after ICU bed occupancy in hospitals reached 100% on May 11.