PUTRAJAYA, May 27- The number of COVID-19 cases in categories four and five has increased to15 per cent during the third wave compared to just five per cent previously, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.
He said that COVID-19 cases during the third wave mostly affected those aged 20 to 40, involving sporadic cases and not linked to any clusters.
“The number of people seeking (treatment) at stages four and five has increased of late. So, I suggest that the public be more cautious because some asymptomatic cases have been detected in these categories.
“Those in categories four and five require oxygen assistance and some need to be ventilated,” he said at a virtual media conference today.
Meanwhile, he said that a total of 870 healthcare personnel, who had been vaccinated under the first phase of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK), had been infected with the virus.
He said 219 of them were infected after receiving the first dose of the vaccine jab while 651 others were infected after getting the second dose.
“Most of them did not experience severe symptoms because they had been vaccinated either with the first or second dose,” he said, adding that 449 healthcare personnel who have yet to be vaccinated had been infected with COVID-19.
Dr Adham thanked private hospitals which had increased the number of beds in their COVID-19 intensive care units (ICU) to assist the Ministry of Health (MOH) in tackling the pandemic.
He said the MOH welcomed the step taken by IHH Healthcare Malaysia, which had increased the number of beds set aside for COVID-19 in 16 hospitals under the company’s network nationwide.
“So far, there are 110 private hospitals which have agreed to provide 1,173 beds in normal wards and 119 in the ICU, specifically for the treatment of COVID-19 patients from categories one to five,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Adham said the COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee (JKJAV) and COVID-19 Immunisation Task Force would meet to discuss the proposal to impose compounds and penalties against individuals who do not turn up at vaccination centres on the day of the appointment.