PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry has denied allegations that Sabah is facing a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and hospital beds for Covid-19 patients.
Commenting on an anonymous claim by a health worker that hospitals have to buy their own PPE, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah dismissed it as “rumours”.
“I do not know where these rumours come from, about which hospital is facing a shortage. there is no mention of names, perhaps it is just fake news.
“Why not refer to the Sabah Health Department or refer to us (Health Ministry), then we can tell you our usage of PPE in the respective state or district, ” said Dr Noor Hisham at the Health Ministry’s Covid-19 daily briefing on Monday (Nov 2).
He said that according to the Sabah Health Department, the supply of PPE is sufficient and the current stock could last for a month at least.
“The Sabah health director has said she is monitoring the whole situation at hospitals and clinics. There is no shortage of PPE. What we have can last for a minimum of 29 days. We do have emergency procurement.
“We have been allocated RM25m to procure only PPE because we are thinking of the long term, ” he said.
It was reported that a health worker from a hospital in Sabah’s interior had alleged that some frontliners had to use their own money to buy PPE due to limited supplies.
On claims that beds for patients are not enough, Dr Noor Hisham said the allegations are not true.
He said in Sabah, there are currently nine hospitals designated for Covid-19 treatment and an additional 28 quarantine and low-risk treatment centres.
In total, Dr Noor Hisham said there are 8,539 beds, which includes 1,111 at the nine hospitals and 7,428 at the low-risk centres.
“Currently, there are 130 intensive care beds specifically for Covid-19 cases. So far, 60% are being used.
“There are 193 ventilators for usage of Covid-19 cases, suspected cases and non-Covid-19 cases. Only 27% are being utilised. So our capacity is still a lot, this claim is not true.
“Those who claim that our system is inadequate in Sabah probably have not been down to the ground to see for themselves. We constantly monitor this, ” said Dr Noor Hisham.