Sufficient PPE, but distribution needs to be addressed — Health DG

Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah

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By Geryl Ogilvy

KUCHING, April 2: There is no shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for Covid-19 medical frontliners, although distribution to hospitals across the nation needs to be addressed immediately.

Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said some medical facilities lack face masks, while some are in need of face shields and other requirements.

The ministry hoped deliveries can be settled within this week.

“We have received a donation of over 50,000 face masks and more than 50,000 (various) PPE, as well as half-a-million masks from China.

“There is a lot of donations coming in but the issue now is for us to try our best to address the logistics, such as sending to Sabah and Sarawak for example,” he said at the daily Covid-19 press conference at Putrajaya today.

On Covid-19 testing, Dr Noor Hisham said 43,462 clinical samples have been taken, with 3,116 patients reported positive.

He said the ministry is capable of handling some 11,500 tests daily with over 40 laboratories nationwide including five private labs, 14 at higher learning institutes, Malaysian Armed Forces labs, Institute of Medical Research (IMR), as well as the Malaysia Genome Institute

The ministry will increase hospital labs from 12 to 14, with the addition of Sibu Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu, as well as open five more labs at higher learning institutes.

Dr Noor Hisham said the target was to carry out 16,500 tests daily.

He added that based on World Health Organisation standards, the rate of positive cases (3,116) or 7.2 per cent of the total tests (43,462) carried out so far, Malaysia is considered to have conducted sufficient tests for the society.

On a related note, he said the ministry will increase hospital treatment capacity for Covid-19 patients nationwide. He added that seven hospitals have been converted for full Covid-19 treatment.

With 146 public hospitals under the Health Ministry across the country, Dr Noor Hisham gave assurance there would not be any congestion caused by overlaps between Covid-19 and normal patients. — DayakDaily