Covid 19 No Marked Drop In Icu Cases Due To New Variants
There has still been no marked drop in the number of Covid-19 cases requiring treatment at the intensive care unit (ICU) despite the drop in daily new infection cases during the two-week total lockdown since June 1.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this was due to the emergence of new variants of the virus, resulting in cases detected with serious symptoms, namely, categories four and five, with the health of patients deteriorating faster.
“This situation has caused more patients to require oxygen and other respiratory support, especially the vulnerable groups like the elderly and patients with comorbidities.
“The ICU usage has exceeded 100 percent and this is very worrying as not all critical patients requiring treatment can be placed in the ICU,” he said in a statement today.
Noor Hisham said the trend of Covid-19 patients’ admittance to the ICU had shown an increase starting from the 17th epidemiology week (April 25-May 1) until the 21st week (May 23-29).
He said this trend was seen to continue, especially in the following two weeks until the 23rd epidemiology week (June 6-12) where the usage of ICU beds exceeded 100 percent.
“Exceeding the capacity was also due to the longer recovery time needed by patients in the ICU due to serious complications from the Covid-19 infection.
“On average, treatment in the ICU for category four is 14 to 16 days and for category five, it is between 19 and 26 days,” he added.
Consequently, the Health Ministry has taken certain measures such as increasing the capacity for Covid-19 patients to 11,598 beds at the hospitals and 31,861 at the Low-Risk Covid-19 Quarantine and Treatment Centres (PKRC), and upgrading of the normal ward beds for use by critical Covid-19 patients.
The Health Ministry has also been collaborating with several teaching hospitals under the Higher Education Ministry for use of their facilities to treat Covid-19 patients, the Malaysian Armed Forces in the setting up of field hospitals, as well as with 112 private hospitals, especially in the Klang Valley, in treating such patients.
“To ensure that the efforts carried out are not in vain, the Health Ministry has called for public cooperation by complying with the new normal and the standard operating procedures set to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“Continue to reduce your movements and activities outside the home to avoid getting infected with the new Covid-19 variants which can spread more easily and result in a very serious illness,” said Noor Hisham.
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