Sarawak opens respiratory clinic for non-Covid-19 cases in Kuching

Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (second from right) visits the Respiratory Clinic at the Indoor Stadium March 24, 2020. — Picture courtesy of the Deputy Chief Minister’s Office
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah (second from right) visits the Respiratory Clinic at the Indoor Stadium March 24, 2020. — Picture courtesy of the Deputy Chief Minister’s Office

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KUCHING, March 24 — The Respiratory Clinic at the Indoor Stadium in Petra Jaya is now open to treat those with fevers, coughs and other respiratory problems unrelated to the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

State Disaster Management Committee chairman Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah, who visited the clinic this morning, said the clinic is meant to reduce congestion at the government hospital.

“We want to avoid those suspected of contracting Covid-19 to mix around with the other patients,” he told reporters.

“That is why the nurses and health personnel at the arrival tent of this clinic will insist on taking body temperature of all those coming here,” he said.

Uggah, who is also the deputy chief minister, said social distancing would be the norm here.

He said the clinic opens from 8am to 5pm every day except on the weekends and public holidays.

He said the service provided is free.

He again reminded those in close contact with those suspected to be infected with Covid-19 to go to the screening centre at the Sarawak Youth and Sports at Palm Road.

He said the screening centre is divided into two sections, namely for those with the symptoms and those without them.

Minister of Housing and Local Government Datuk Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian, who accompanied Uggah to visit the clinic, said the state government will consider setting up more respiratory clinics in major towns like Sibu, Miri and Bintulu, should the need arise.

“We start with this one first and see how it goes,” he said.

He added one of the main issues now is how to protect the frontliners such as general practitioners or private doctors in the state.

“With this facility, all those with fever, cough and shortness of breath can come here instead of the private practitioners.

“Otherwise, all of them (private practitioners) will need protection like the PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and others, bearing in mind they might come across those suffering from Covid-19.

“In Sarawak, we have more than 250 private practitioners and it will be very hard to provide them with adequate protection,” Dr Sim said.

He said the private practitioners could focus on non-Covid-19 cases.

“We need them because they also provide very important jobs to tackle the other aspect of medical services,” he said.

Also accompanying Uggah were State Secretary Datuk Amar Jaul Samion, State Health Director Dr Chin Min Zin and Assistant Minister of Corporate Affairs Abdullah Saidol.

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