Report: Kota Kinabalu hospital’s ICU paralysed after nurse gets Covid-19, colleagues forced into quarantine

Healthcare workers carry out Covid-19 screening for those with a recent travel history to Sabah at Selcare Clinic in Shah Alam October 4, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Healthcare workers carry out Covid-19 screening for those with a recent travel history to Sabah at Selcare Clinic in Shah Alam October 4, 2020. — Picture by Hari Anggara

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 10 — Healthcare workers at the intensive care unit (ICU) of Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah are struggling to cope with their workload after over half the nurses in the department were forced to self-quarantine.

Malaysiakini reported that 40 of the 66 nurses manning the ICU wards were quarantined after one of their colleagues tested positive for Covid-19.

Citing sources from the hospital, the report said that the staff member was believed to have contracted infection from the community before going to work.

The report said that this caused the remaining workers of the ICU wards to become overloaded.

This is especially when the hospital is tasked with handling all non-Covid-19 ICU patients from Queen Elizabeth I Hospital, which is also in Kota Kinabalu.

QE II is a non-Covid hospital while QE I is designated to handle all Covid-19 cases.

“All precautionary and treatment measures have been undertaken. The details about the ICU situation at Queen Elizabeth II Hospital is being handled by the Sabah Health Department,” Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba told the news portal, after reportedly confirming that at least one nurse at the ICU ward was infected with Covid-19 on October 8.

Dr Adham reportedly said efforts were underway to reinforce the medical team at the Queen Elizabeth II Hospital’s ICU ward.

“(Medical staff) have been mobilised,” he was quoted saying.

Malaysiakini reported that with just 26 nurses left, Queen Elizabeth II Hospital has had to transfer out at least two patients from its ICU ward.

The portal said it was informed that some of the quarantined nurses have begun showing symptoms of Covid-19 infection but that these still needed confirmation from testing.

All nurses and patients in the vicinity were being tested.

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