PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry (MOH) is ramping up its service capacity in Sabah to be better prepared in handling the increase of Covid-19 cases in the state, says Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
The Health Minister said among the initiatives put in to ensure the state was at the optimum level in handling Covid-19 cases included converting hospitals to admit only Covid-19 patients, mobilisation of healthcare staff and increasing allocation among others.
Dr Adham said the ministry would convert Hospital Kota Marudu, about 120km from Kota Kinabalu, to treating only Covid-19 patients in the state, as well as six more Covid-19 Low-Risk Quarantine and Treatment Centres (PKRC).
MOH now has seven hospitals to treat Covid-19 cases and 16 PKRC in Sabah.
“As of Oct 11, there are a total of 4,834 beds prepared to treat Covid-19 patients in the seven Covid-19 hospitals and 16 PKRC in Sabah.
“From that, the bed usage in the seven hospitals stands at 66% while the bed usage in the PKRC is 22% out of the 3,876 beds available there.
“In total, 30% of the beds are being used to treat Covid-19 patients. Those who are asymptomatic or with mild symptoms will be placed in the PKRC, ” he said in a statement yesterday.
The MOH, he said, was also doubling efforts to increase the number of beds through the public-private cooperation.
He said MOH would be outsourcing some services to private hospitals in Sabah such as the Gleneagles Hospital Kota Kinabalu, KPJ Sabah Specialist Hospital and Jesselton Medical Centre, among others.
To increase the treatment capacity of Covid-19 patients in Hospital Tawau, the MOH and the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) are working on preparing Hospital Medan in Tawau with the help of the army and medical officers.
Hospital Medan will have a 100-bed capacity.
Apart from that, manpower is also being increased by mobilising healthcare personnel from other states.
To date, some 483 medical officers have been mobilised and they include specialists, medical officers, assistant medical officers, nurses and lab and X-ray technicians, among others.
“The MOH is also looking into cooperating with NGOs and private sector to help with the manpower in Sabah, ” said Dr Adham.
In terms of diagnosis capacity, he said Sabah had three laboratories and to reduce their burden, several labs in the peninsula would help out by conducting tests.
The samples will be sent to the labs in the peninsula through special flights with the help of the MAF.
The ministry is also in the midst of working on preparing modular and molecular labs in Hospital Tawau to help increase the screening capacity.
Dr Adham said additional allocations had also been made to the Sabah Health Department to procure PPE suits and other medical equipment.
The minister said Sabah had 180 ventilator units and the usage currently was 38%.
He added that the MOH was also in the midst of sending 14 additional units to the state.
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