KOTA KINABALU: Disciplinary action will be taken against any Health Department staff member who might have helped patients at a low-risk quarantine centre obtain beer, says state Covid-19 spokesman Datuk Masidi Manjun.
Commenting on a recent video clip shared in social media of some patients allegedly drinking beer, Masidi said that an investigation was still underway to establish how alcohol was brought into a quarantine centre here.
"We do not know how it was brought in. Both police and the state Health Department are carrying out an investigation. It is still ongoing," said Masidi, who is state Local Government and Housing Minister cum Finance Minister II.
"Police have not ruled out the possibility that the alcohol was brought in by one of the patients themselves or was assisted by one of the staff members.
"The Sabah Health Department is taking the incident seriously and if there is proof that any staff assisted in getting the alcohol into the quarantine centre, disciplinary action would be taken," Masidi said Monday (Jan 18).
He said the staff at the low-risk quarantine centre have also carried out surprise checks on patients' bags that have been brought in since the incident.
On whether there were sufficient beds at ICU with 91 patients including 29 needing ventilators in current use, Masidi said there were 115 ICU beds at dedicated hospitals statewide.
"Two Covid-19 hospitals in Kota Kinabalu have a total of 42 beds.
"There are sufficient beds and ventilators to meet the immediate requirements," he said, adding that private hospitals were prepared to take in Covid-19 patients but it would take some time.
Masidi also disclosed that the compliance of SOPs in the state remained a serious concern with 19 districts recording between 91% and 94% rate of compliance.
He said of the 438 new Covid-19 cases detected, Masidi said that 308 or 71.3% were due to close contacts that raise concerns of people continuing not to follow SOPs.
Blaming it on the lack of seriousness and general apathy, Masidi pleaded to the public to follow SOPs and avoid unnecessary outings that could expose them to the virus.
"Try to stay home if you don't have any work outside," he said.
He said a new cluster dubbed the Jalan Bukit Bendera cluster has 18 cases to date with the first case detected at the Membakut Health Clinic on Jan 5.
Follow-up on workmates and close contacts detected 17 positive cases in three districts - Kota Kinabalu 13, Beaufort (3) and Papar (2), he said, adding there was a need for everyone to observe SOPs.
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