KUALA LUMPUR: The country is facing the third wave of Covid-19 which is even more challenging especially with the emergence of several new variants which are more aggressive, and thereby contributing to a higher infection rate of the disease in Malaysia.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba when tabling a briefing session on Actions to Combat Covid-19 Pandemic at the special sitting of Dewan Rakyat today said the spike in transmission in the third wave is through sporadic cases which were not related to cluster cases.
“The third wave began on September 20, 2020 and is still going on and as at yesterday, 1,017,787 positive Covid-19 cases with 8,071 deaths were recorded.
“Even though the number of positive Covid-19 cases is high, the number of serious cases under categories 3, 4 and 5 based on clinical conditions when they were initially diagnosed is small compared to the total overall cases,” he said.
To fight the pandemic, he said the government is taking a comprehensive approach to protect lives and ensure the survival of the people as well as the rehabilitation of the economy.
Among the measures taken to treat Covid-19 positive individuals is the setting up of the Low-risk Covid-19 Quarantine and Treatment Centre (PKRC) and as at yesterday PKRC occupancy nationwide is at 61 percent.
Dr Adham said for the facilities at these centres, the Ministry of Health (MOH) provided a total of 29,835 beds at all 132 PKRCs throughout the country.
He said for all 221 Covid-19 hospitals, there were 15,090 beds at public health facilities and 1,288 in private facilities while the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds were 1,405 in public hospitals and 128 in private hospitals.
“Medical equipment such as ventilators, patient monitoring devices and others were also increased to strengthen the capability and preparedness to combat Covid-19 pandemic,” he said at the briefing session on actions to combat Covid-19 in the special sitting of Dewan Rakyat in Parliament.
Meanwhile, Dr Adham said RM7.13 billion (RM1 billion in 2020 and RM6.13 billion in 2021) had been received by MOH for screening and treatment of Covid-19 patients (RM2.35 billion) while RM4.78 billion was for the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines as well as consumables and vaccine storage equipment.
He said following the current requirements, MOH was seeking a supplementary allocation of RM1.14 billion for the procurement of health equipment such as reagents, consumables, personal protective equipment (PPE) and so on.
Touching on the question of MOH human resource for the management of the outbreak until April 30 2021, a total of 278,023 permanent posts have been approved apart from more than 40,000 appointments on contract approved and MOH also appointed 1,519 additional contract health personnel based on the approval of central agencies to be placed at health facilities in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Negeri Sembilan.
“We are not sure when the pandemic could be controlled and completely end...the service and sacrifice of the frontline health workers who work hard in providing the best health services to Malaysians should not go in vain.
“Some of them have not seen their family members for months and have had to stay away to treat and save the lives of patients until some of them have been infected,“ he said.
On the detection of Covid-19, Dr Adham said until yesterday, the capacity of Reverse Polymerase-Transcription (RT-PCR) laboratory tests nationwide had recorded an increase of 1,874 percent, which was 122,603 per day compared to 6,210 in March 2020.
He said based on this increase in capacity, the testing capacity of each state was increased, for example in Selangor, which went up to 2.43 million in the first six months of 2021 compared to 840,165 tests last year. — Bernama