PETALING JAYA: A rapid deployment unit will be set up to send oxygen supplies immediately to states facing a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (Rembau-BN) today said this would address the problem of hospitals facing oxygen shortage.

He told Parliament that this would ensure faster delivery of oxygen supply to the affected hospitals like in Sabah where cases were increasing.

“This will ensure the same thing does not happen again,“ he was responding to the question by the Opposition MP Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal on the lack of beds and oxygen in Sabah.

He said the ministry aims for 2.08 beds per 1,000 people compared with the current ratio of 2.01 beds per 1,000 people, where the capacity increased from 55,952 beds in 2016 to 65,558 beds in 2020.

“To achieve that, the Health Ministry will build new hospitals and upgrade the facilities of the existing hospitals. Focus will be given to the existing hospitals in the area of high bed occupancy, high populations and access to the hospitals,” he said.