KUALA LUMPUR, June 19 — The newly-built UKM Child Specialist Hospital in Cheras opened its doors for the first time yesterday to several Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms, as soaring cases continues to put a strain on the country’s public healthcare system.
Health Department director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a Tweet to announce the hospital’s opening early this morning that of the 14 Covid-19 patients sent there, one had been admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit.
“To date there are 14 patients with one of them placed in ICU. HPKK UKM was just recently built and yesterday was actually the first time the hospital had received patients,” he wrote.
Hospital Pakar Kanak2 UKM telah mula menerima pesakit COVID-19 semalam. Pengambilmilikan sementara hospital ini dibuat oleh KKM menggunakan kuasa di bawah seksyen 3 & seksyen 4 Ordinan Darurat 2021 bagi membantu KKM meningkatkan kapasiti rawatan COVID-19 di sekitar Lembah Klang. pic.twitter.com/yfspYzn85S— Noor Hisham Abdullah (@DGHisham) June 18, 2021
The country has been placed under a “full movement control order” as the government attempts to rein in a new wave of Covid-19 infections, which has been consistently in the four digits in the last two months.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Health recorded 6,440 new Covid-19 infections, the first time Malaysia has gone above the 6,000-case level since June 11.
The increase also meant the country was further away from Phase Two of the National Recovery Plan, which required daily cases to fall below 4,000.
Public criticism is mounting against the Perikatan Nasional government over its handling of the pandemic, and the Opposition said Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has little justification to continue using Emergency laws, since daily cases have continued to remain high.
Muhyiddin is now facing pressure to reopen Parliament after the King publicly urged the government to hold a sitting “as soon as possible”.
Dr Noor Hisham in concluding his Tweet about the new hospital, said Section 3 and 4 of the Emergency Ordinance had allowed the government to convert HPKK UKM into a Covid-19 treatment centre.
* A previous version of this story contained an error which has since been corrected.