KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 ― Private hospitals have not recorded any Category 4 or 5 cases of Covid-19 in the past three months despite the Omicron wave that has officially hit Malaysia, Association of Private Hospitals Malaysia said today.

Its president Datuk Dr Kuljit Singh said there are Category 1 and 2 admissions but those are individuals who want to isolate themselves and are self-funding their treatment.

“We have noticed there is a vast difference in the severity of the cases when compared to August 2021 when the numbers of reported cases were at 22,000 plus and almost every private hospital, particularly in the Klang Valley, had zero beds available both in their Covid-19 wards and Covid-19 ICUs (intensive care unit).

“Patients who were willing to pay the full cost of treatment at private hospitals had to be turned away and transferred to government facilities which were beyond their maximum capacity too,” he said.

Malaysia is seeing a sharp spike in Covid-19 cases as the Omicron variant spreads within the community. Cases have steadily risen from 15,000 to 20,000 yesterday and are expected to hit the 22,000 mark today.

Omicron is not as deadly as the Delta variant and Dr Kuljit said despite Omicron being highly infectious, Malaysia isn’t as badly affected with severe cases due to the high rate of vaccine and booster dose administration.

He said continued adherence to SOPs coupled with self-monitoring should be the norm and he does not expect the healthcare facilities to be overwhelmed.

“As many countries are moving into endemicity, we should be preparing ourselves too towards that direction as we do not expect the healthcare facilities to be overwhelmed.

“Total private hospitals beds are estimated at 16,500 and there are various percentage of beds in each hospital made ready to help the government at any time assistance is required to receive decanted non-Covid-19 patients and treat full paying Covid-19 patients based on the capacity and capability of the individual private hospital,” he added.

Malaysia recorded 20,939 new infections yesterday with 24 deaths.