Surgeries postponed as Klang Valley running out of ICU, facilities for Covid-19 patients (video)

KUALA LUMPUR, 2 May 2021:

With the surge in Covid-19 infections across Malaysia in the past week, especially within Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, admissions into intensive care unit (ICU) wards for Covid-19 patients in the Klang Valley has reached 90% as of this morning, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

“This is due to the increase in the number of critical case admissions by 62% compared to the last two weeks.”

In a Facebook post, he said latest statistics from the National Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC), six hospitals have exceeded the alert threshold as usage of ICU beds dedicated to treating Covid-19 patients was found to be above 70%.

The situation is especially critical at Sungai Buloh Hospital, Kuala Lumpur Hospital , Hospital Ampang, Hospital Serdang, Hospital Selayang and Hospital of Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Klang where some of them have already approached usage of 100%.Universiti Malaya Medical Centre also reported ICU use of critical treatment / Covid-19 patients at above 50%, he noted.

This worsening situation is despite efforts by the Health Ministry (MoH) for acquisition of medical equipment, such as ventilators, since last year to enable Sungai Buloh Hospital to increase the capacity of critical treatment beds when there is urgent need as this medical facility has been fully operating as a Covid-19 hospital since March last year.

As at yesterday, a total of 108 ventilators were required to treat Covid-19 patients in the Klang Valley alone and he noted there is currently 277 ICU beds allocated for Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 patients at seven government medical facilities in the Klang Valley.

To cope with the surge in demand for Covid-19 treatment facilities, Dr Noor Hisham said surgery and elective procedures in hospitals around Klang Valley will be reduced or delayed to enable more hospital beds to be dedicated to Covid-19 treatments. “This also allows medical members to be mobilised to more critical places for Covid-19 patient care.”

He said MoH will also continue to cooperate with private hospitals, educators or universities around Klang Valley to increase the capacity of critical bedding.

“This includes the outsourcing of non-Covid-19 patients for certain cases and procedures to be treated in private hospitals with costs covered by the government on treatment charges that have been agreed upon. This external source has been implemented since the second wave in 2020 and still continues to date.”

On Thursday, the Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia had revealed most private hospitals, particularly in the Klang Valley, are currently unable to accept any more Covid-19 patients.

President Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said in a statement all designated Covid19 wards are fully occupied as are isolated intensive care unit beds – due to a sharp increase of such patients over the last 14 days.

“We hope that the public will take this shortage of beds in hospitals seriously and be responsible for making sure the spread is curtailed and all preventive SOPs (standard operation procedures) are adhered to by the public.

“The biggest fear would be if we face a healthcare shutdown because of the non-availability of beds and oxygen treatment for our citizens.”