MAEPS hospital to start operating soon

KUALA LUMPUR – The Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) Integrated hospital near here will start operating on Jan 24 to treat COVID-19 patients in categories three, four and five to be stabilised before they are sent for intensive treatment to the hospital.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the strategy was aimed at treating COVID-19 patients from the Covid-19 Quarantine and Low Risk Treatment Centre (PKRC) MAEPS 2.0 categories one and two which suddenly fell into categories three, four and five.

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He said the hospital located in Dewan B would provide the same facilities as in other hospitals such as blood pressure equipment and negative pressure tent with 30 beds for categories three and four while outside the hall a tent for transit Intensive Care Unit (ICU) with 10 beds.

“The Health Ministry (MOH) will also increase the number of staff here including infectious diseases specialists and intensivists who can handle more complex COVID-19 cases involving intensive treatment,” he said at a press conference after visiting PKRC MAEPS 2.0 here, today.

Commenting further, Dr Adham said PKRC MAEPS 2.0, which has been operating since Dec 9, will start accommodating 10,000 COVID-19 patients in categories one and two starting Jan 18.

“I have surveyed the new places and they are conducive because the preparations are so meticulous and neat including the special place for COVID-19 positive families.

“PKRC MAEPS 2.0 will also receive COVID-19 patients in categories one and two who have recovered from categories three, four and five who were treated at hospitals for COVID-19 cases as well as patients from Johor, Melaka and Negeri Sembilan and the Klang Valley,” he said.

Meanwhile, on home treatment if there is a positive COVID-19 case, Dr Adham said, COVID-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) will be established in every district throughout the state with permission and evaluation from district health officers.

“Those who are asymptomatic and have a place to be isolated in the house will be considered. If they come from a narrow and crowded house and have other diseases they will have to go to the hospital” he said.

Residents accept decision

Kelantan residents meanwhile have accepted the Movement Control Order (MCO) that has been reimposed in the state from today until January 26 for their own sake and to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Akin to the phrase ‘kita jaga kita’ (we take care of ourselves), generally, those met by Bernama accepted the government’s decision to implement the MCO for the second time.

This included traders who willingly made the ‘sacrifice’ despite the MCO implementation would affect their income as they had to comply with the stipulated standard operating procedures (SOP).

A restaurant owner, who only wanted to be known as Along, 42, said it was a tad slow for his business this time around as compared to during the implementation of the Conditional MCO and Recovery MCO previously, since customers were not allowed to dine-in at any food premises.

“Normally, my shop would have been filled with customers as soon as it opens at 10 am but it’s a bit slow today. There are also not many customers who turn up for takeaways, maybe because it’s a weekend and many are not working.

“I accept what is happening and I am sure the government’s decision is for the people’s sake but I also hope the MCO will not go on for too long like last year which caused me to incur losses of almost RM30,000 in three months,” he said.

Meanwhile, clothes trader at the Rantau Panjang duty free zone in Pasir Mas, Syed Badhlisyah Syed Mohammad, 40, said he concurred with the reimplementation of the MCO despite enjoying a brief respite when the Recovery MCO came into force in July.

“However, I was forced to close shop due to the recent floods which resulted me to incur a huge loss. Therefore, I hope the MCO will not be extended further so that I can get on with my business and pay my workers’ salary,’’ said Syed Badhlisyah who has been in the business for 10 years.

For a private sector employee, Nur Hanisa Md Safuan, 27, the reimplementation of the MCO was apt as the number of COVID-19 cases in the state was showing a worrying upward trend since the past few days.

“Although the MCO will impact some quarters including traders and daily workers, it is the most effective way to break the chain of the COVID-19 transmission as movement is restricted and interstate travel is not allowed,” she said when contacted.

Yesterday, Senior Minister (Security Cluster) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the government had agreed to reimplement MCO in Kelantan due to the drastic increase in COVID-19 cases in the state.

As such, several SOP had been tightened during the MCO period, including allowing food premises to operate from 6 am to 8 pm to sell packed food, drive-thru or delivery only while clothes outlets were not allowed to open.

Highest number of cases

Malaysia today recorded a new high of 4,029 COVID-19 daily cases to take the total number of infections nationwide to 155,095, said Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said that of the new cases, 4,021 were local transmissions and eight were imported cases.

“As for the local transmissions, 2,711 cases involved Malaysians while 1,310 were foreigners,” he said in a statement on the development of COVID-19 today.

He said 2,148 recoveries were reported today, taking the cumulative recoveries from the virus to 117,375 or 75.7 per cent of the overall cases.

Eight fatalities were also reported today, taking the death toll nationwide to 594, he said.

Four of the deaths occurred in Sabah and one each in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak and Penang. All the victims, aged between 40 and 78, had a history of illnesses.

He said Selangor continued to record the highest number of daily cases, with 1,466, followed by Johor (719 cases) and Sabah (449 cases).

Dr Noor Hisham also said that six new clusters were detected today, with three of them being workplace clusters, namely the Senai Cyber Cluster and Jalan Sembrong Cluster in Johor and Jalan Permata Cluster in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan.

The other three clusters are the Tembok Nanas Cluster (detention centre) in Pontian, Johor; Taman Juta Cluster in Hilir Perak district; and Kampung Lebu Cluster related to a wedding reception and tahlil ceremony in the districts of Bentong and Kuantan in Pahang.

“The Senai Cyber Cluster recorded 114 cases, Jalan Permata Cluster 61 cases, Tembok Nanas 41 cases, Kampung Lebu Cluster 21 cases, Jalan Sembrong Cluster 18 cases and Taman Juta Cluster 14 cases,” he said.

To date, there is a total of 641 clusters. Of that total, 356 have ended, including five today, namely the Impian Cluster, Utama Rini Cluster, Kuala Cluster, Malawati Cluster and Bulatan Construction Site Cluster.

Therefore, the number of active clusters being monitored stands at 285, of which 71 of them reported increased number of cases today.

Dr Noor Hisham also said there were 205 patients being treated in the intensive care unit, with 79 of them intubated.