Non-Covid-19 patients in S'wak GH may be moved to other hospitals if cases spike further

  • Nation
  • Friday, 27 Mar 2020

Sarawak General Hospital

KUCHING: Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) patients here not suffering from Covid-19 may be moved to other government and private hospitals if more space is needed to treat Covid-19 cases, says Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah.

He said SGH was one of four designated Covid-19 hospitals in Sarawak, along with Sibu, Bintulu and Miri hospitals.

"We are preparing for the worst. In SGH, we have 1,003 beds. If you look at what happened in some other countries, requirements can be quite substantial.

"If there is still space for non-Covid-19 patients, they will remain there. But if there is a need for space within SGH for Covid-19 patients, then the non-virus patients may need to be placed in another hospital," he told a press conference here on Friday (March 27).

Uggah said non-Covid-19 patients would be placed in the Serian and Bau hospitals and the Sarawak Heart Centre in Kota Samarahan should the need arise. All three are government hospitals near Kuching.

"But if all these three places are not sufficient, we have discussed with private hospitals for them to make space available.

"This way, we will ensure that non-Covid-19 patients will continue to receive medical treatment," Uggah said, adding that state Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian was leading the discussion with the private hospitals.

Asked who would foot the bills if non-Covid-19 patients were moved to private hospitals, Uggah said the state government would make sure that the issue was resolved.

"If need be, the government will pay. Our principle is, we want to make sure non-Covid-19 patients who have to be moved from SGH will obtain the same medical services as they were given at SGH," he said.

Uggah also said Sarawak recorded 15 new positive cases on Friday, bringing the total in the state to 110.

He said the spike in cases showed that the situation was "very unpredictable", with 32 persons under investigation (PUI) still waiting for their test results.

On Thursday (March26), Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg said the trend of Covid-19 transmission in Sarawak had stabilised since the movement control order (MCO) came into effect, with four new cases each reported on Wednesday (March 25) and Thursday.

"Yesterday (March 26), it looked encouraging but today we have a spike. This is a message to the rakyat that we need to cooperate.

"It is of course inconvenient, but a little sacrifice will help us get through this," Uggah said, adding that compliance with the MCO was about 95% in Sarawak.

On the 20 Indonesian oil palm workers quarantined in Sri Aman for suspected Covid-19, he said all the samples had come back negative.

However, he said they would remain in quarantine for 14 days and another test would be taken to be certain that they had not contracted the virus.

The workers were sent to the quarantine centre on Wednesday (March 25) after experiencing cough, fever, shortness of breath and sore throat for several days.

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