THE Paya Terubong Covid-19 support team has been established to provide medical and psychological support to Covid-19 patients in the constituency in Penang.
In collaboration with the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) George Town, northeast district St John Ambulance, Penang Hospital, Sungai Ara community ambulance and Gleneagles Hospital, the team of over 70 volunteers will assist residents affected by the virus.
Paya Terubong assemblyman Yeoh Soon Hin said the support team was launched in response to the rise of Covid-19 cases within the state and the constituency.
“The team will help monitor and support Patients Under Investigation and others undergoing home quarantine.
“This support team will identify Covid-19 Categories 1, 2 and 3 patients within Paya Terubong including Relau and provide them with oximeters so that they can monitor their oxygen levels while quarantining at home.
“We will regularly assess these patients.
“If their oxygen level drops below 93%, we will make swift arrangements for hospitalisation via Covid-19 Assessment Centres,” he said at the launch of the team.
Yeoh, who is state tourism and creative economy committee chairman, said that the shortage of dedicated Covid-19 ambulances was one of the main challenges faced by Penang’s healthcare system.
He said this could cause a delay in admitting Covid-19 patients to hospitals for oxygen support.
“We bridge this gap by doing our best to stabilise the patients’ condition with oxygen supply while waiting for the arrival of ambulances.
“This is to prevent sudden health deterioration and to reduce brought-in-dead cases.
“The support team will help boost the state’s fight against Covid-19.
“I hope that similar support teams will be established in other areas in Penang to reduce the burden of medical frontliners,” he said.
Yeoh added that there were more than 200 individuals observing home quarantine in his constituency.
CERT George Town chairman Ong Swee Jin said the support team would call patients daily to check if they were getting good care.
“Covid-19 patients can call our hotline and we will analyse their situation.
“We will offer help based on our discretion after talking to the callers.
“If the patient needs immediate medical attention, we will inform the hospital to send them there either by the hospital’s ambulance or the Sungai Ara community ambulance.
“For those who have difficulty breathing but can still wait, we will send our deployment team to give them oxygen and medical equipment while they wait for the ambulance or van to arrive,” said Ong.
CERT George Town advisor Dr Lee Toong Chow said the team would complement the medical services rendered by the state government.
“We have eight doctors in the team.
“We hope to fill the gap between the government and the people.
“We initiated the idea to set up a special support team on Sept 9 and it took us only 10 days to launch it,” he said.
Those staying in the Paya Terubong constituency can call 017-324 8788 or 011-1632 9550 from 9am to 7pm daily.
They can Whatsapp the team at other times.