Sim: Govt increasing hospital capacity for possible surge in Covid-19 cases

Dr Sim Kui Hian

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KUCHING, Sept 27: The Government is increasing the hospital beds capacity in Sarawak as a preparation for possible surge in number of Covid-19 cases.

According to Local Government and Housing Minister Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, the focus is for Covid-19 patients in Category 3, 4 and 5, with step-up preparation for more intensive care unit (ICU) beds.

“We will not wait until a surge (in cases) happens before responding, as it may be too late. With Delta variant, there is never enough beds,” said Dr Sim in his Facebook post yesterday.

Dr Sim who is also State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor, said among other initiatives include setting up an additional field hospital, redeployment of additional doctors and nurses throughout the State, and to top-up urgent funding and re-purposing the existing beds to Covid-19 ICU beds.

In re-purposing the existing beds to Covid-19 ICU beds, he explained that when the beds capacity increases, the ICU utilisation percentage will drop even if the actual number of beds used increases.

“At the same time, because of a decrease in number of beds for non-Covid-19 cases, there will be an increase in waiting list for surgery,” he added.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin yesterday has announced that the Federal government has agreed in principle to Sarawak government’s request to set up a field hospital in Sibu as one of the efforts to increase the medical capacity in Sarawak to respond to possible surge in number of Covid-19 cases.

He said the matter will be brought for discussion between the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM). – DayakDaily