DG: We need additional manpower

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 17 Oct 2020

PETALING JAYA: As Sabah logs the highest number of daily cases in the country again, the Health Ministry reiterates its call for healthcare volunteers to help fight the Covid-19 crisis there.

Out of the 629 cases and six deaths recorded yesterday, Sabah contributed 77.7% of the total cases with 489 new patients and five deaths, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

This is followed by Selangor (50), Penang (33), Labuan (19), Perak (nine), Kuala Lumpur (eight), Kedah (seven), Johor (five), Melaka (three), Putrajaya (two) and one each in Negri Sembilan and Pahang.

“Of the total 629 new cases today, two were imported cases from New Zealand and Singapore and both cases are in Kuala Lumpur.

“The rest are all local transmissions, involving 577 Malaysians and 50 foreigners, ” he said, adding that 16 of them were returnees from Sabah.

The six deaths recorded yesterday meanwhile involved five Malaysians in Sabah and a foreigner in Kuala Lumpur, which brought the Covid-19 death toll in the country to 176.

Four men aged 39,66,67 and 72, and a 74-year-old woman from Sabah succumbed to the respiratory virus, while the foreign man was 52.

All of them had prior medical histories such as hypertension, diabetes, heart problems or stroke, said Dr Noor Hisham, who also called for healthcare volunteers to help the government fight Covid-19 in Sabah.

He said that in normal situations, the ministry had adequate manpower to deliver its services but this was a time of crisis and Sabah had been recording an alarming number of new cases daily.

“We need additional manpower to carry out healthcare activities during quarantine and low-risk treatment centres in Sabah as well as out on the field, ” he said in a press conference yesterday.

So far, a total of 767 Health Ministry personnel of various categories in Sabah and also from other states had already been mobilised to fight Covid-19 in the state, he said.

“This is the time for the ministry to get help from non-governmental organisations (NGOs). We are using the whole government and society approach.

“This is a war that we are facing, what’s for sure is that we must break the chain of Covid-19 transmission in Sabah and in the whole country, ” he said.

Sabah has 20 quarantine and low-risk treatment centres with a total of 4,231 beds which currently have a 25% occupancy.

There are also nine Covid-19 hospitals in Sabah with a total of 1,045 hospital beds currently at 76% occupancy.

Earlier, Dr Noor Hisham also said a total of 245 patients had recovered yesterday, making the total recoveries at 12,259 or at a rate of 65.4%.

The total number of active cases in the country stands at 6,323 cases now.

So far, the country’s cumulative total cases since the outbreak began in January stood at 18,758.

There were currently 99 patients being treated at the intensive care units with 31 of them requiring ventilator support.

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