More Hospital Beds For Sabah With Icus 72 Full
Sabah’s intensive care units are 72% full, with Covid-19 patients as well as those with other illnesses. (Bernama pic)PETALING JAYA: More efforts are being made to increase the number of hospital beds in Sabah, especially in the intensive care units which are now 72% full with Covid-19 and other patients, the health ministry said today.
Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the total number of beds available had been more than doubled since early September, and overall bed occupancy was currently at 35%.
“To increase the number of ICU beds, the ministry has repurposed clinical areas in several health facilities, with areas in the hospital repurposed into modular ICU wards to treat critical Covid-19 patients.
“This will help increase the number of ICU beds available in Sabah,” he said.
Noor Hisham’s remarks came on a day when the number of new infections reached a new record high of 869 cases. More than half (451) were in Sabah, and 159 in Selangor.
The director-general said the number of ventilators available in Sabah has also been increased; 180 ventilators are available and only 32% are currently being used. Ventilator splitters produced with 3D printers also enabled one ventilator to be used by two patients at a time.
Ventilators are needed by Covid-19 patients as the virus affects the lungs, causing breathing difficulties.
Noor Hisham said other measures to improve Sabah’s ability to deal with the Covid-19 crisis included expanding the heath testing capacity by outsourcing the processing of test samples to private labs as well as delivering some 100,00 RTK (rapid test kit) antigen tests to the state.
Some private hospitals to be roped in
The ministry will also move non-Covid-19 patients to some private hospitals, allowing public hospitals to focus on treating patients with the virus.
The hospitals involved are Gleneagles Kota Kinabalu, Hospital Pakar KPJ Sabah, Tawau Specialist Medical Centre and Jesselton Medical Centre, all in Sabah, the National Heart Institute (IJN) in Kuala Lumpur and Gleneagles Penang.
Noor Hisham said the ministry has also mobilised 767 health workers from various states to Sabah, with 99 more set to depart for the state in the next two weeks.
He added that more than 4,700 people have registered as volunteers to help in Sabah. - FMT
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