Uggah: Doctors have final say over discharge of Sarawak Covid-19 patients

Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas

By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 27: Doctors will decide whether Covid-19 patients in Sarawak will be discharged even if they test positive at the end of their two-week hospital treatment.

State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas pointed out that the scenario in Sarawak is different from West Malaysia, considering the fact that patients could be from the deep interior and coastal rural areas.

“We had a long discussion on this matter this morning during the meeting. So we leave those decisions to our expert doctors to decide (whether to discharge patients who still test positive after treatment).

“Doctors could also consider factors like the size of a patient’s house. For example, if the house is only 500 sq ft with six to seven people living in it, I am sure the doctors will take into consideration whether it is comfortable for the patient to go back to the family,” he told a press conference to give updates on the state’s Covid-19 situation here today.

His remarks came in response to Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah’s statement yesterday that Covid-19 patients will be discharged even if they still test positive at the end of their two-week hospital treatment because they would not be able to infect others.

The ministry revealed this change from their previous protocol where they would continue to keep patients hospitalised if they test positive on the 13th day.

Dr Hisham said that according to a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) report, if patients have passed 14 days of treatment, the chances of them infecting others are zero.

He explained that Covid-19 patients may still test positive after 14 days due to virus shedding or because the test detected fragments of the dead virus. — DayakDaily