KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): "Today (Saturday, May 29) marks a dark moment when the country recorded its highest daily Covid-19 deaths since the pandemic began, ” says Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
In voicing his concern, he said the 98 Covid-19 fatalities saw the country's death toll shooting to 2,650 cases.
He said the development caused the mortuary facilities in Health Ministry (MOH) hospitals reach maximum capacity and it was getting difficult to accommodate the bodies of victims.
"There were 472 deaths in 2020 while 2,179 deaths were recorded in just the first five months of 2021.
"From May 1 to 29 alone, there were 1,144 deaths from Covid-19. This is the most monthly deaths so far, ” he said in a post on Facebook Saturday night.
Following this, he said the forensic department is providing special containers to store the bodies of Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients in five hospitals - Selayang Hospital, Serdang Hospital and Sungai Buloh Hospital in Selangor; Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Baru and Queen Elizabeth I Hospital in Sabah - as well as one "fleximort" specially for Covid-19 patients at Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Selangor.
He said each special container can accommodate 20 bodies while the "fleximort” can store 12 bodies.
Dr Noor Hisham said what was even more worrying was that active Covid-19 cases have exceeded the capability and capacity of MOH to treat, with doctors forced to make the difficult choice of prioritising intensive care unit (ICU) beds for patients with higher potential to recover compared to patients with poorer prognosis.
"This is an implication that is not desired by every health worker, yet this difficult choice will have to be made when the health system reaches maximum capacity. Help us so that the national health system is not completely paralysed.
"All parties from the highest level to the general public need to help break the chain of Covid-19 infection. Make the best decisions and choices for the sake of the people and the country, ” he added.
The Health director-general stressed that in balancing life and living, it was important for all parties to always re-examine their priorities according to the current situation, but for MOH and health workers throughout the country, their priority is public health and saving lives.
"Let us stay at home and if you have important business outside, make sure you follow the SOP so that you and your family members are protected. Kita jaga kita (We take care of ourselves). Make sure there are no movements and gatherings. #LockdownKendiri #BantuSistemKesihatanNegara, ” he said. - Bernama