More beds for MAEPS and ICUs

Through rain or shine: Frontliners helping shield a patient from the pouring rain as he arrives at the Covid-19 Assessment Centre at Malawati Stadium. — KK SHAM/The Star

PETALING JAYA: The government will increase the capacity of the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park in Serdang’s (MAEPS) Covid-19 quarantine and low-risk treatment centre (PKRC) to ease the pressure on hospitals.

“We will increase the capacity to 10,000 (beds) in the complex (MAEPS), ” said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

“So far we have placed almost 4,000 patients from Categories 1 and 2 while 1,000 beds are for those under Category 3.

“This is to reduce the stress on public and private hospitals which have been taking Category 3 patients before this, ” he added.

Those in Categories 4 and 5 would be admitted to designated public and private hospitals, he told a virtual press conference yesterday.

Covid-19 patients are classified into five levels. Category 1 refers to asymptomatic patients, Category 2 are symptomatic patients without any lung infection, and Category 3 are those with symptoms and lung infections.

Category 4 patients require ventilator assistance while Category 5 are those deemed critical with multiple organ complications.

On intensive care units (ICUs), Dr Adham said that ICU capacity was also being increased in the Klang Valley with more beds being set up in training hospitals in Universiti Teknologi Mara in Sungai Buloh and Puncak Alam, as well as in Serdang.

He also said that 20 ventilators from Hospital Cyberjaya were being distributed for use by hospitals in the Klang Valley, namely in Sungai Buloh, Klang, Serdang and Kajang.

Apart from MAEPS, he said other PKRCs had also been set up in Negri Sembilan, Perak and Pahang to handle cases from Covid-19 clusters.

His assurance comes following a surge in Covid-19 cases in the Klang Valley, with the Selangor Health Department saying the situation in MAEPS is becoming increasingly challenging following a spike in Category 3 patients.

The government converted MAEPS into a huge temporary makeshift hospital for Covid-19 patients on April 16 last year

during the first wave of the pandemic.

It was closed on July 15 after successfully treating 1,362 Covid-19 patients, of which 86% were foreigners.

However, MAEPS was reactivated as a quarantine centre on Dec 9 last year to accommodate over 3,000 beds to place asymptomatic Covid-19 patients to ensure adequate hospital beds for symptomatic patients.

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