Health Ministry issues SOP on flood management during Covid-19 pandemic to combat 'disaster within a disaster’

PETALING JAYA: Standard operating procedures (SOP) for flood management while battling the pandemic have been issued by the Health Ministry as the monsoon season is expected to last until March 2022.

"In that period, four to six episodes of heavy rains are expected, with a high probability of floods. However, managing floods during a pandemic brings about its own challenges for all victims and responsible agencies,” said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

"To combat this 'disaster within a disaster', the Health Ministry, together with National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma), have issued SOP as guidelines for all agencies involved in flood management.

“At the same time, new normal procedures have to be practised throughout the rescue and moving of victims until they are safely placed at temporary evacuation centres (PPS)," he added.

Victims who tested positive for Covid-19 will be isolated and placed in quarantine centres, special PPS, or referred to the hospital as needed.

Close contacts will be quarantined at special PPS or at separate blocks at the evacuation centres. Victims who have tested negative but show symptoms will also be quarantined.

"For high-risk groups such as pregnant women, those with comorbidities and the elderly, careful planning must be conducted to transfer them early so that they have direct access to medical aid," he said.

On Covid-19 cases, Dr Noor Hisham said that seven new clusters have been identified.

Out of the 4,087 new cases identified today, 72 cases were from categories three, four and fives.

The national Covid-19 infectivity rate (R-Nought) is currently at 0.96.

Labuan (1.12), Kedah (1.02), and Pahang (1.01) recorded R-Nought scores of over 1.0.

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