Malaysia running out of ICU beds for Covid-19 patients

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is running out of intensive care unit (ICU) beds to treat Covid-19 patients as the number of category 4 and 5 cases requiring critical care beds continues to surge.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the ministry recorded a 60 per cent increase in ICU admissions nationwide compared to the previous two weeks.

He said Klang valley recorded a higher increase of 94 per cent compared to the last two weeks.

"The utilisation rate of ICU beds in the Klang Valley hospitals is now over 100 per cent," he wrote on his Facebook page.

As a measure to address the sharp increase in Covid-19 category 4 and 5 cases requiring admission to the ICUs, he said the ministry's top management had met with Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia to discuss the possibility of using UKM's Specialist Children's Hospital (HPKK) as a Covid-19 hospital.

This, he said was made possible with the Emergency Ordinance 2021 in place.

Dr Noor Hisham said UKM's HPKKis a newly completed teaching hospital located next to Tuanku Muhriz Chancellor's Hospital, here.

"The hospital has a capacity of 243 beds including 28 critical care beds/ICU (adult-sized beds) which have the potential to be used temporarily as a hospital to treat Covid-19 patients, especially those with serious symptoms.

"Through Sections 3 and 4 of the Emergency (Essential Powers) Ordinance 2021, the health ministry can have temporary ownership of buildings and demand the use of resources (including human resources) of teaching and private hospitals to combat the virus.

"We would like to express our appreciation to UKM for all the cooperation given," he added.

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