Mma No Need For National Emergency But Sabah Desperately Needs Aid
The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) sees no need to declare a national emergency but believes that Sabah's healthcare in the fight against Covid-19 is in dire need of help.
All other areas under the conditional movement control order which include Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya are under control and should improve with its current measures, said MMA president Prof Dr Subramaniam Muniandy in a statement today.
"Urgent and massive financial aid from the federal government is needed to control the Covid-19 situation in Sabah or there may be a total collapse of the healthcare system.
"Widespread community transmissions of Covid-19 infections may be rapidly escalating statewide," said Subramaniam.
He warned that the daily numbers reported may be much less than actual numbers considering the delays in reporting test results, contact tracing and isolation of infected individuals.
Yesterday's record-high number of new cases (1,228) saw 889 in Sabah alone and the state has experienced 84 Covid-19 deaths, most of which have come this month.
"Bed occupancy is reaching full capacity in most hospitals in Sabah and in some areas, less severe cases of Covid-19 have to be isolated and home treatment instituted.
"We are deeply concerned that the more severe cases of Covid-19 might increase further. Sabah's infection and death rate are many times above the nation's rate, making it among the highest in the nation," said Subramaniam.
He said the state needs all the help they can get in terms of PPE, medical equipment, and financial aid for their healthcare needs. An increase in hospital bed strength and testing capacity is also urgently needed.
Unlike Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah has only nine public hospitals. Access to public healthcare for many Sabahans affected can also be a challenge due to their vast land area, remote locations and unforgiving terrains.
Subramaniam expressed MMA's concern over reports that frontliners there are on the verge of throwing in the towel due to fatigue, mental stress and an acute shortage in manpower.
"More healthcare workers are urgently needed. We urge the government to consider engaging more help from public healthcare facilities from other states with low Covid-19 cases at much higher numbers than were assigned to Sabah currently.
"We noted that significant numbers of re-deployment are within the state itself rather than from interstate which may not increase Sabah's total healthcare workforce," he said.
Cases are expected to continue to be high in Sabah as a backlog in test results are being cleared.
"An urgent boost from the government is needed on the issue of limited testing capacity, including engaging private sectors and interstate's resources.
"This delay in testing turnover time severely affected the system's ability to contact trace contacts and isolate infected individuals at the same time preventing further spread of the infections," he said.
Now is the time for scientific, practical, coordinated solutions to the Covid-19 situation in the country and not a time for political squabbles that have not improved the situation in the country in any way, added Subramaniam.
"Every minute of delay in this mission for Sabah is putting the whole nation at risk of an unmitigated national disaster that may go down as one of the darkest chapters since the birth of this nation,” he concluded.- Mkini
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