Sabah ICUs at 72 percent capacity, says Health DG

Modified 17 Oct 2020, 12:55 pm

COVID-19 | Occupancy of critical care beds in Sabah hospitals is rising as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the state.

Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that 72 percent of the 122 intensive care unit (ICU) beds in the state's public hospital are currently in use.

This includes use for non-Covid-19 cases.

Speaking during his daily live broadcast from his home, Noor Hisham said efforts were being made to increase the number of ICU beds in Sabah by repurposing clinical areas at several health facilities into modular ICU wards

Meanwhile, he said there were 180 ventilators in the state with 32 percent in use including for non-Covid-19 cases.

The Health Ministry will also be harnessing the power of 3D printing to create ventilator splitters that would allow one machine to be used by two patients as is being practised in other countries.

The health director-general also said that bed capacity at Covid-19 hospitals in Sabah and low-risk treatment and quarantine centres had been increased by 2.5 times from 2,129 in early September to 5,414 beds currently.

Bed occupancy is at 35 percent.

The Armed Forces has also set up a field hospital in Tawau that provided 100 more beds for non-Covid-19 patients.

Meanwhile, to ensure care for non-Covid-19 patients is not affected, the Sabah Health Department has also signed outsourcing agreements with six private hospitals including Gleneagles in Kota Kinabalu and Penang, KPJ Sabah, the Tawau Specialist Medical Centre. Jesselton Medical Centre and the National Heart Institute.

Noor Hisham also said that they have received 4,794 applications from medical officers from the private sector who want to volunteer their services for Sabah’s fight against Covid-19.

The Health Ministry is currently vetting the applicants as it has to look at their experience, their practices as well as their health status, among other things.

“We will ensure to send them (to Sabah) as fast as possible. We are not just looking at the short-term but also the mid-term and long-term situations,” he said.

The director-general added they are deploying help from Peninsular Malaysia to Sabah in stages depending on the need as well as the expertise of the officers.

“Next week we will send another 99 more health officers comprising 36 public health officers and 63 medical officers (to Sabah),” he said.

Malaysia recorded 869 new cases today, of which 451 came from Sabah.