SDMC requests NSC to upgrade 7 hospitals with Covid-19 capacity

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

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By Karen Bong and Lian Cheng

KUCHING, Jan 7: State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has submitted requests to National Security Council (NSC) to upgrade Limbang, Sarikei, Betong, Serian, Bau, Kapit and Simanggang hospitals with Covid-19 capacity.

Its chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas pointed out that currently, only hospitals in Kuching, Sibu, Miri and Bintulu are with Covid-19 capacity.

“SDMC is fully aware of the urgency to upgrade the healthcare facilities throughout Sarawak. When we were facing the first and second Covid-19 wave, we were already contemplating on setting up temporary hospital sites at that time,” he told a press conference on Covid-19 update today.

That apart, Uggah said that the testing capacity in Sarawak is about 2,400 tests per day but it will be tight with the situation right now as sometimes test results could take three days to obtain.

“The longer the waiting time, the worst it is (higher risk of exposure by Covid-19 positive cases). There was a case where a patient who had visited Sabah and later tested (upon entering Sarawak) and it took six days for the result to come out. During that period of time he was already in Bintulu and had visited several places.

“So SDMC appealed to the Federal government to upgrade the testing facility to 5,000 per day the least,” he added.

Uggah disclosed that the testing facility in Limbang is almost completed and will cater for Limbang and Lawas to avoid overload Miri’s facility.

“I also learnt that the Federal government is giving us the fund and I hope it will take place soonest possible,” he said.

Uggah who is also Deputy Chief Minister stressed that the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) government has no reservation in protecting Sarawak lives by stepping up on preparations.

“But if the rakyat are not disciplined whereby they gather in mass and celebrate and all that, then the cases will shoot up as in Kuala Lumpur (KL) now which is at the breaking point.

“So we appeal to the people to please value your life because once infected it will threaten your life,” he cautioned.

The Sarawak government, he stressed, has been doing its best to manage and contain the situation and spent a huge sum of money to provide quarantine facilities, tests, closing borders as well as restrictions on entry to protect the health and well being of the people.

“We have done a good job in overcoming the first and second waves and I am sure this wave that is coming, Sarawak will do better than any other states in Malaysia provided that we have the support and collaboration from all Sarawakians,” he said. — DayakDaily