Chong urges MoH to protect well-being of Sentosa Hospital frontliners

Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING, July 28: Stampin MP Chong Chieng Jen urged the Ministry of Health to give attention to ensuring the well-being of healthcare frontliners in Sentosa Hospital which has been declared a Covid-19 cluster recently, including the allegedly poor quarantine facilities they were put in.

Chong highlighted this matter during a supplementary question in Parliament today when seeking clarification from Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba.

He pointed out the grouses of the said frontliners including shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) to the extent that they had to appeal for donations from the wider community and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and that hospital staff were being put in quarantine facilities that were lacking.

Chong also read out a complaint from a medical personnel from the Hospital Sentosa cluster who was quarantined.

“Can’t help but wonder why Sarawakians coming back from overseas are allowed to be quarantined in hotels fully paid by the state government, whereas we the staff from Hospital Sentosa cluster are being thrown into hostels or a college that have never been heard (of) before in some secluded area which are poorly maintained.

“P.S. The hostel was empty before this and some of the rooms didn’t even have pillows and lines (sic) to begin with and the Internet connection there is so weak that people need to go to the library for better access to the Internet. But how can we go to the library if we are under quarantine? And to those who think that we are whining, tell me what else can you do if you have no Internet during quarantine?

“Can the minister give attention to this and upgrade the facilities for those undergoing quarantine, especially the frontliners who we always thank them for carrying out their duties but when they are infected, facilities are lacking?” he added.

In his reply, Dr Adham explained that 10 frontliners from Sentosa Hospital have been relocated to the Inland Revenue Board Academy which has a good environment, while 86 are at Institut Aminuddin Baki and 27 were under home quarantine.

As for the shortage of PPE, he said that there were shortages during the earlier stage of the Movement Control Order (MCO) period but the ministry had taken proactive steps to procure PPE from all over the world.

“For now, there are sufficient PPE in Sarawak for a period of time,” he added.

Dr Adham also informed the House that 21 out of 680 samples taken from the Sentosa Cluster have tested positive for Covid-19 while 587 were negative and 72 were still pending lab test results.

“Out of the 21 cases, 16 involved healthcare staff, support staff (2), in-patient (1) and close contacts to case (2).

“Active Case Detection and contact tracing are still being carried out,” he added. — DayakDaily