GEORGE TOWN: Hospital Bukit Mertajam (HBM) has been converted into a Hybrid Covid-19 Hospital, receiving its first patient today.
Taking to his official Facebook page, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said
in view of the rising number of cases, the Penang Health Department acted swiftly to convert HBM into a Hybrid Covid-19 Hospital.
"After three days of planning and another three days of intensive preparation, the Hybrid Covid-19 Hospital took in its first patient this morning," he said today.
Dr Noor Hisham said there would be 72 beds with piped-in oxygen, dedicated for Covid-19 patients.
It is expandable to 120 beds if demand increases.
He said it would also be able to take in haemodialysis patients infected with Covid-19, as all the wards were fitted with facilities for bedside haemodialysis.
"All specialty services in HBM will still be provided albeit with reduced capacity for surgical disciplines, O&G and paediatrics.
"Non-Covid-19 patients will be diverted to other hospitals in Hospital Kluster Seberang Prai when the need arises.
"Thank you very much to the HBM team and Edgenta Mediserve HBM for making this possible" he added.
In the past week, Penang has seen an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases.
Yesterday, Penang reported 505 Covid-19 cases, Friday (530), Thursday (371), Wednesday (362), Tuesday (460) and Monday (426).
In May, a field Intensive Care Unit was set up at Hospital Kepala Batas following rising Covid-19 cases there.
Penang is currently under Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan (NRP). On July 7, Penang eased into Phase Two up of the NRP after it met the three threshold indicators fixed for the state.
Penang had recorded an average of 9.5 cases per 100,000, well below the 12.2 cases per 100,000 threshold.
Penang had also surpassed the vaccination rates of 10 per cent for the adult population with 10.1 per cent so far.
The usage of its ICUs is at a moderate level while the Capacity to Respond in the state is at an adequate level.
The state is aiming to ease into Phase Three of the NRP next month.
For Phase Three of the NRP, the indicators that need to be achieved are average daily cases dropping below 2,000, the public healthcare system at a satisfactory level with the rate of bed usage in ICUs dropping to an adequate level, and 40 per cent of the country's population having received the second dose of the vaccine.