JOHOR BARU, May 4 — The Johor government disclosed today that public hospitals in the state have exceeded the capacity of their intensive care units (ICUs) to treat critical Covid-19 cases.
Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan said based on yesterday’s statistics, a total of 49 Covid-19 patients were being treated at six specialist hospitals’ ICU units in the state.
He said this meant ICU usage in the state was at 114 per cent as there was only capacity for 43 Covid-19 patients in critical state.
Of the 49 ICU patients, he said 39 also required ventilators.
“The constraints to having additional Covid-19 beds is limited due to lack of human resources.
“At the same time, there is also a high number of critically ill non-Covid-19 patients who require ICU treatment at present,” said Vidyananthan in a statement issued here today.
Vidyananthan said since April 1, all 12 government hospitals in the state have been operating as hybrid Covid-19 hospitals treating both Covid-19 patients and uninfected patients, including at the Enche’ Besar Hajjah Khalsom Hospital in Kluang.
“This is done to sustain the need of increase treatment to the numbers of those infected with Covid-19 in the state,” he said.
On a separate matter, Vidyananthan added that the Jalan Impian Emas 17 cluster involving a surau here has recorded three deaths so far.
He said the first case in the cluster was detected through a screening done on April 21 with probes showing that the index case patient frequently broke fast and performed his Terawih prayers at the surau.
“We immediately carried out contact screening involving family members, colleagues and even the surau’s congregation.
“Up to last Sunday, a total of 252 individuals have been screened with 52 of them testing positive for Covid-19. Three deaths (related to the cluster) have also been reported,” he said.
Vidyananthan said even though the surau had been closed from April 24 until Sunday, the cluster would still be monitored by the state Health Department until May 29 for any new cases.
“The community has been reminded to always follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that have been put in place while performing religious obligations during this month of Ramadan,” he said.
Vidyananthan, who is also the Kahang assemblyman, said that until yesterday the state had recorded 53 active clusters with 19 from industries, 15 from within communities, 11 from institutions, seven involving detainees and one imported cluster involving a ship’s crew.
He reminded the public to always practise new norms and always adhere to the SOPs to lessen the risk of outbreaks among family and friends by ensuring physical distancing, wearing face masks and always practising good hygiene.