PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry (MOH) is in talks with the Defence Ministry to set up field hospitals in Kelantan and Sarawak, says Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
He said there was a need to set up field hospitals to accommodate patients unrelated to Covid-19, so that the burden of hospitals dealing with Covid-19 cases could be reduced.
“We find there is a need to set up field hospitals, like in Tawau and Kelantan... so discussions are in progress for the Defence Ministry to build them.
“The existing hospitals, especially their critical and intensive care unit wards, can be used or focused on dealing with the increase in Covid-19 cases, ” he said at a joint press conference with coordinating minister of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme, Khairy Jamaluddin, here yesterday.
On the mobilisation of additional staff to deal with Covid-19, Dr Adham said some 8,000 employees from other ministries had been mobilised since Jan 11 to assist the MOH.
He said the latest involved a total of 800 employees who were deployed to Sarawak and Kelantan.
“In Kelantan, staff from the dental department have been deployed, apart from trainees and staff from the MOH Training Institute who are also experts in managing Covid-19 cases in critical wards and ICUs.
“Apart from that, the MOH has obtained approval to have 11,000 more employees in all disciplines in the ministry, ” he added.
On the first case of the Covid-19 variant originating from India, with a double mutation known as B.1.617.1, detected in the country, Dr Adham said the case was found following a screening of an Indian national at an international gateway on April 24.
“The Indian national came to our country before we decided to close all flights from India.
“He has been quarantined for 14 days and we are monitoring the situation, ” he said.
He said to date, there were a total of 48 cases of South African variant B.1.351 in Malaysia, eight cases of UK B.1.1.7 and two of Nigerian B.1.525.
Meanwhile, Dr Adham reiterated that interstate travel would not be allowed until May 17 and that 13 interstate clusters had been detected since April. — Bernama