KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — The intensive care unit in all major hospitals in the Klang Valley are almost overwhelmed by severe Covid-19 cases with the occupancy rate reaching 90 per cent this morning, Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.
National news agency Bernama reported the statement this morning just hours after Dr Noor Hisham posted a 45 second clip on Twitter showing most beds at the Sungai Buloh Hospital ICU having mostly been taken up.
“We are running out of beds,” the Health D-G said in a posting that accompanied the clip.
“Please stay healthy and stay safe.”
The dire appeal came as news reports emerged that the Health Ministry had proposed a third round of lockdown for several states that are seeing a resurgence of Covid-19 cases.
Sharing our Critically ill Covid-19 patients in Sungai Buloh Hospital ICU. We are almost running out of beds. Please stay healthy and stay safe. pic.twitter.com/XbCFaf0JIy— Noor Hisham Abdullah (@DGHisham) May 2, 2021
Kelantan is the only state under a statewide full movement control order at the moment.
Malaysia is facing what some experts believe to be a “fourth wave” of the pandemic, with the recent number of daily cases nearly reaching the 4,000 mark.
Dr Noor Hisham warned yesterday that ICUs in Klang Valley hospitals were once again nearing capacity after the resurgence of Covid-19 cases after most movement restrictions were relaxed.
In a series of tweets that followed the short video clip of the situation at Sungai Buloh hospital, Dr Noor Hisham posted photos of critically-ill Covid-19 patients forced to be placed in the general ward because of the overwhelmed ICU.
“Staff from the Sungai Buloh Hospital medical department seen here pushing ventilators for use in the general wards,” he wrote.
“There has been an increase in the number of critically-ill Covid-19 patients ventilated in general wards due to the scarcity of available ICU beds. Suitable general wards will be repurposed for critical care to meet increasing needs,” he added.
The high occupancy rate has also forced the hospital’s emergency department’s observation to be partially converted into a Covid-19 ICU.
Dr Noor Hisham said there are 63 ICU patients at Sungai Buloh Hospital with 25 critical patients who have to be placed in the general ward and Emergency Department.
At the moment, 80 critical care repurposed beds have been created around the Klang Valley with more expected to be added on as required, the Health DG added.
The Health Ministry warned yesterday about the sharp spike in the case trend with the cumulative number from just between the 12th to the 17th Epid Week for 2021 rising to 79,881 cases already.
Dr Noor Hisham reported that up to 108 ventilator units are needed for Covid-19 patients in Klang Valley yesterday alone.
Between January 1 to yesterday, Covid-19 case incident rate in Malaysia per 100,000 of the population was 872.
MoH said the Rt value, which measures the infectivity rate, has increased to 1.14 nationwide, 1.20 for Selangor, 1.16 for KL Federal Territory, and 1.0 for Putrajaya Federal Territory.