Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

PUTRAJAYA, March 24 — Most of the COVID-19-related deaths in the country are due to late treatment, said Health director-general Datuk Seri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said there were five stages of COVID-19 infection but most of them came to hospital when they were already at stage three.

 “Stage one is where a person is asymptomatic but positive, while stage two is positive with mild symptom and stage three is when a patient has some form of pneumonia but does not require oxygen aid.

“In stage four, a patient will require oxygen therapy and the last stage (stage five) is when patients cannot breathe well and we need to intubate them and put them on ventilator,” he told a media briefing today.

Dr Noor Hisham also explained that in most stage four patients, their health would deteriorate fast to move to stage five.

“For example, the latest death, the patient already had breathing difficulty for the last three days,” he said.

He also said that besides late for treatment, age and comorbidities were also among factors that contributed to the COVID-19-related death.

“Some of the death cases had comorbidities and most of them were above 70 years old,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the MOH would enhance its case detection activities.

“It means we will find the case, we test the case, and if it is confirmed, we isolate the case and give treatment.

“We will continue to do our best to look into the focus group. For example, now we know that 60 per cent of the infection are among the tabligh group. We will go and find them and test them,” he said, adding it was to ensure the individuals from the group would not infect others.


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