PUTRAJAYA, 9 June 2021:
The number of Covid-19 patients with mild symptoms who are self-isolating at home has risen to 11,000 as at last Saturday, June 5 and this high number of active cases is swamping resources at Covid-19 Assessment Centres (CACs) nationwide, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah in a statement today.
He said the 198 CACs currently operating, up from the initial 148 set up last year, have been swamped since April with a 150% rise in patient arrivals – from a previous average of 4,000 daily to 10,000 on June 5. Active patients being monitored by CACs also rose 108% from 5,300 daily to 11,000 patients while referrals to hospitals for step-up care rose from nine cases on May 23 to 35 cases on June 5.
These CACs were set up by the Health Ministry (MoH) as one-stop centres to conduct assessments on patients tested positive on whether self-isolation is enough or if they needed to be warded – aiming to reduce congestion at hospitals and Covid-19 Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centres (PKRC).
Category 1 and 2 patients younger than age 60 are allowed to self-isolate or be placed at the PKRC if unable to properly self-isolate at home or older than 60; while Category 3 and higher patients are hospitalised.
Due to the increased workload at CACs, he said patients who were undergoing home self-isolation were getting anxious – especially when they reported new symptoms or deterioration of symptoms via the MySejahtera app – but had yet to receive any feedback from their respective CACs.
To address this anxiety, Dr Noor Hisham said a call centre is being set up to help patients with symptoms to get in touch with the relevant CAC, as well as receive calls related to general inquiries on the Home Surveillance Order – while also redirecting emergency calls to MERS 999 (Malaysia Emergency Response Services).
“For a start, it will be implemented in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya which have a high caseload. MoH will also add telephone lines at 33 CACs in the three states, to reduce call congestion.”