KLANG: A patient suspected to be mentally disturbed at Hospital Tengku Ampuan Rahimah’s (HTAR) Covid-19 ward recently stabbed another patient in the same ward with a knife.
South Klang OCPD Asst Comm Shamsul Amar Ramli said the incident happened at about 6.30pm on June 9.
“The victim is in stable condition and has undergone surgery, ’’ he said.
The attacker had grabbed the fruit knife and stabbed the victim in the stomach, he said, adding that the suspect was transferred to the Sungai Buloh Hospital two days later.
In an unrelated incident at the same hospital on June 6, ACP Shamsul Amar said the son of a deceased Covid-19 patient roughed up a doctor at the lift lobby.
“The man pushed and tried to punch the victim due to a misunderstanding over his mother’s death as well as the hospital’s failure to inform the relatives of the patient’s actual condition, ’’ he said.
He added that the woman had been treated as a regular patient upon admission and had not shown any Covid-19 symptoms.
Police reports have been lodged by the hospital as well as the doctor over both incidents.
Meanwhile, sources say the man who stabbed his fellow patient was not known to be aggressive and did not suffer from psychiatric problems.
The incident has raised questions as to whether Covid-19 can adversely affect a person mentally and produce hallucinations as well as aggression.
A New York Times article recently stated that there were an increasing number of mental breakdowns and hallucinations related to Covid-19 and reckoned that it could be due to various factors, including inflammation in the brain caused by the virus.
Infectious disease expert Prof Dr Zamberi Sekawi such an occurrence was possible in Covid-19 patients, even though there was no concrete or scientific proof.
“We need studies to be conducted to find out more about symptoms such as hallucinations and to prove scientifically whether they are linked to Covid-19, ’’ he said.
Malaysian Mental Health Association president Datuk Dr Andrew Mohanraj said acute stress could also lead to hallucinations and
a condition known as brief psychotic disorder.“They can go berserk or run amok. There is a diagnostic basis to prove this, ’’ he said.
Dr Mohanraj explained that unlike other conditions and ailments, Covid-19 came with so many questions and uncertainties which could push the patients towards psychotic disorder.
“Any other disease, regardless of its severity, has a proper prognosis, treatment plan and expected outcome, but we don’t have all that with Covid-19 yet, ’’ he said.