Dr Sim: ‘Happy’ hypoxia can be a silent killer in asymptomatic Covid-19 patients

Dr Sim Kui Hian (File Photo).

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By Ling Hui

KUCHING, Aug 26: Asymptomatic Covid-19 patients in the early stages may be suffering from ‘happy’ hypoxia, with less than normal oxygen saturation in their bloodstream but they appear well and ‘happy’, says Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

The State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor said this hidden Covid-19 symptom also known as silent hypoxemia can be the cause, amongst others, of brought-in-dead (BID) cases.

“(There are) many reasons for BID. The medical professionals have noticed that those with Covid-19 who seem well can suffer from ‘happy’ hypoxia (less than 94 per cent oxygen saturation but without symptoms) and drop dead,” he said in a social media post yesterday (Aug 25).

Only pulse oximeters can detect such drops of oxygen level in the blood, thus Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) has been swabbing all BID cases for Covid-19 positive individuals.

Dr Sim, who is also Minister for Local Government and Housing, said with the Covid-19 Delta variant around, the public must continue to be on high alert, but not panic and be misled by fake news.

Though Sarawak is fortunate to have a high vaccination rate, he warned that the Delta variant is highly transmissible, more virulent and deadly.

He encouraged the use of double facemasking, face shields and minimising unnecessary social gatherings or interactions while strictly complying with the standard operating procedures (SOP).

On the distribution of 788 Covid-19 cases in Kuching as reported by Kuching Divisional Health Office (PKB Kuching), Dr Sim noted 273 cases that were traced to outside of Kuching district.

Bau accounted for 137 cases, Lundu 123, Samarahan 12 and Serian one case.

Localities in Kuching with more than five cases included Kampung Sungai Maong, Lorong Cahaya Damai, Taman Sukma, Kampung Tabuan Ulu, SPS Stapok, Jalan Stutong, Kampung Semerah Padi, Taman Desa Wira, Kampung Tupong Ulu, Taman Sri Perkasa, Kampung Boyan, Bandar Baru Samariang, Kampung Muara Tebas, Kampung Bratan, Kampung Gita Lama, Taman Benjaran Serapi, Jalan Arang, Kampung Tabuan Melayu and Kampung Siol Kandis.

Kampung Tabuan Lot, Kampung Tabuan Dayak, Astana Taiyo Yuden, Kampung Rampangi, Kampung Gersik, Kampung Pinang Jawa, Kampung Stampin Baru, Kampung Tanjong Bako, Kamping Lintang, Jalan Wan Alwi, Taman BDC, Taman High Park, Bintawa Village and Kim Hin quarters were places that recorded four new cases yesterday. — DayakDaily