PETALING JAYA: With record high cases of Covid-19 and a decision on the enhanced movement control order in the Klang Valley due today, the newly formed Greater Klang Valley Special Task Force has hit the ground running.
Task force chief Datuk Dr Chong Chee Kheong, who is the deputy director-general of Health (public health), said with Health Ministry joining hands with the military, the task force would be hands-on in providing relief to healthcare facilities in the targeted areas.
The “Greater Klang Valley” in this respect encompasses Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, southern Perak, northern Negri Sembilan and western Pahang.
Dr Chong points out that while the task force reports to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, it is empowered to make immediate decisions and has overriding power over the states.
He updates the Prime Minister on the situation just before every National Security Council (NSC) meeting.
The NSC sits today to decide whether the enhanced MCO in large parts of the Klang Valley since July 3 can be lifted.
“The task force is given full authority to make rapid decisions and take action, realigning tasks and solving problems that are beyond the level of the state.
“This will ensure resources are deployed in the fastest way possible to provide relief to the healthcare system in the Klang Valley,” Dr Chong said when contacted.
The healthcare system in the Klang Valley has been struggling to cope with an exceptionally high number of infections lately.
Dr Chong said the task force would focus on reducing the Covid-19 cases through collaboration and coordination with multiple agencies and stakeholders.
“It also emphasises the partnership with the military at the operational level whereby Health Ministry and the military are joint deputy commanders,” he said.
The topmost urgent issues to be fixed include bed capacity, manpower needs, oxygen supply and related medical equipment as well as budget requirements, he said.
“This includes identifying areas for conversion to Covid-19 wards, placement of cases, step-up, step-down care as well as building an online dashboard to monitor the situation.
“We will also review the management of assessment centres and determine the flow of patients to Covid-19 wards,” he added.
“The task force is well on its way to implementing an action plan that will create more Covid-19 wards and mortuaries as well as intensifying the partnership between public and private hospitals.
“We will also be identifying manpower for short-term contracts or mobilising from outside the Klang Valley, and sending non-Covid-19 cases to private hospitals and enhancing transportation for Covid-19 patients.
“We will also coordinate step-up and set-down care of Covid-19 patients, especially across facilities, expand the capabilities and capacities of Covid-19 Assessment Centres, throttle cases at these centres from reaching Covid-19 wards and quarantine centres as well as push for rapid access to vaccines for the Greater Klang Valley,” he said.
Over the last few days, the task force has been busy visiting areas in the Klang Valley with a high number of Covid-19 cases to identify problems related to manpower, bed capacity and equipment.
Dr Chong had said on Tuesday that the task force would also work with the economic sector to ensure it takes on more responsibility to have a safe work bubble.
The task force will only expire when the targeted areas fulfil conditions sufficiently for the transition to Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan.