JOHOR BAHRU, Jan 9 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) is examining the ability of government facilities, including COVID-19 gazetted hospitals, to accommodate patients who are experiencing a sudden increase in symptoms.

Its Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said that at the same time, his team will reactivate more Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centres for low-risk patients nationwide.

“An example (of this) was opening the Malaysia Agricultural Expo Park, which can accommodate up to 10,000 positive patients. This is because we found the cases of COVID-19 patients using ventilators and beds (in Intensive Care Unit) also increased,” he said at in a press conference in conjunction with the handing over ceremony of Phase Two of the District Collection Centre upgrading project at the Sultanah Aminah Hospital, here today.

He said this in response to a question on whether government facilities are still able to accommodate the sudden surge in COVID-19 patients in the country.

“Thus far, the MOH facilities are still able to accommodate the increase in cases but strict methods to  flatten the COVID-19 curve need to be implemented immediately,” he said.

He said that this is because the frontliners, including specialist doctors, ventilator machine operators, and physicians who handle COVID-19 cases, are working hard to face the sharp rise in cases.

“Therefore, we also need to look at their needs as well as pay attention to the team of nurses and medical assistants who are also looking after non-COVID-19 patients,” he said.

In another development, Dr Adham said the number of blood donors nationwide decreased to 40 per cent last year, which was about 500,000 people compared with 743,739 in 2019.

This decline is due to the spread of the COVID 19 pandemic, causing the public to worry about donating and receiving blood.

It is also due to the cancellation of blood donation programmes and campaigns, to comply with the standard operating procedures set under the Movement Control Order.

“To ensure that the blood supply reaches an optimal level, the community and non-governmental organisations have been asked to intensify blood donation collection activities in order to reach the target of 700,000 blood donors this year,” he added.


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