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Government needs to release emergency funds to fight Covid-19 in Sabah - MMA

18 Oct 2020 / 20:32 H.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) urged the federal government to release emergency funds in order to manage the worsening Covid-19 situation in Sabah.

Its president, Datuk Dr M. Subramaniam said the funds would be needed for the increasing demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), medical equipment, additional ventilators, quarantine centres, transportation of medical equipment as well allowances for volunteers who would be working around the clock.

It was reported on Oct 14 that the occupancy rate of 1,018 beds across nine Covid-19 hospitals in Sabah had reached 71 per cent, while yesterday, 72 per cent of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in the state’s public hospitals were in use.

“MMA is concerned that looking at the number of daily cases reported, the situation may escalate to a critical point much quicker than anticipated. We need to prepare for that eventuality and act with greater urgency.

“We believe it is possible that more can be done to meet the needs of Sabah in fighting the pandemic,” Dr Subramaniam said in a statement here today.

He said the newly elected state assemblymen too should get more involved and work closely with the State Health Department to ensure that their constituents are well informed, safe and strictly abide by the standard operating procedure (SOP).

“The biggest favour they can do for all frontliners based in Sabah now is to get their constituents to lend their full cooperation and support by staying at home and following strictly the SOP. This will significantly help break the chain of infections.

“Better coordination among all agencies is needed too so that the needs of the state are met on all fronts and that all help from the NGOs and public is well coordinated to assist the state’s efforts.

“We also urge the state crisis command centre to engage the private hospitals, clinics and doctors in the fight against the pandemic,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dr Subramaniam said the MMA recently launched its Sabah Covid-19 fund with all the proceeds to be used for healthcare equipment, medical supplies, PPE and other Covid-19-related relief.

“Contributions can be made directly to the Malaysian Medical Association Foundation at United Overseas Bank account number: 1063057741 (recipient reference: Sabah Covid). All donations above RM250 to this fund are tax exempted.

“To obtain the receipts, donors are required to e-mail at mma_sbh@yahoo.com or WhatsApp the payment transaction slips with full name, address and phone number to 012-28055009,” he added. -Bernama

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