Sarawak PKR urges State govt, State Health Dept to increase ICU bed capacity

Jame Stephen

By Nur Ashikin Louis

KUCHING, May 18: The Sarawak government and the State Health Department (JKNS) have been urged to increase the number of ICU beds in all four major State hospitals in order to address the sharp spike in Covid-19 cases.

In saying this, Sarawak Parti Keadilan Sarawak (PKR) communications chief Jame Stephen said the State government needs to ensure that critically ill patients can access the care they need.

“Apart from that, the State government must ensure that the supply of ventilators, oxygen, drug treatments for Covid-19 (patients) and intensive care specialists is adequate to meet the increasing demand,” he said in a statement today.

He also asserted that with Covid-19 infections set to be dominant and now rising at an alarming rate in Sarawak, the State and federal governments must publish daily plans on how they are increasing the number of ICU beds and oxygen capacity as well as show a daily tally of the number of vaccinations administered.

“We must also adopt new measures immediately such as surge vaccinations and surge testing in cluster areas in order to contain the rate of infections locally,” he added.

He also called on the State government to double its efforts in vaccinating Sarawakians as soon as possible particularly rural folk and high-risk adults in major clusters.

“It is not enough to state that take up on MySejahtera registrations has been low when the lack of stable Wifi and digital connectivity remains a barrier to registration and not everyone in a number of rural areas have access to a smartphone.

“Therefore, the State must deploy local vaccination teams to systematically vaccinate longhouse residents and villagers throughout Sarawak. We should not expect the elderly in their 80s to brave dangerous rapids to reach vaccination centres,” he stressed.

He also pointed out that thousands of poor patients and families in the B40 group across Sarawak are unaware of the mySalam assistance worth RM700.

Following this, he urged mySalam teams to be on the ground and assist the rural B40 families under lockdown to apply for the assistance.

“The State government knows which longhouses and villages are in lockdown so why are they not sending mySalam teams to assist these poor B40 Sarawakians with their applications?

“Many rural Sarawakians are daily wage earners and when required to go into quarantine and lockdown, their source of income is completely wiped out. The mySalam RM700 support payment is a lifeline that they need urgently,” he emphasised. — DayakDaily