Hospital beds for COVID-19 patients fill up 

The COVID-19 fight here continues its uphill battle, with cases surpassing the 3,000 mark for several consecutive days in the past week. Igniting further concern over rising cases, Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has come out to say that intensive care unit (ICU) beds for critical COVID-19 patients in Klang Valley hospitals are now almost 90% full. 

As such, surgeries and elective procedures will be reduced and postponed in hospitals in Klang Valley to open up more beds for COVID-19 patients. Health DG is also advising the public to continue following COVID-19 safety guidelines to help reduce the number of cases in Malaysia.

Uptick in cases contributing to ICUs reaching near capacity

A series of photos and videos shared on Health DG’s social media accounts yesterday, 2nd May, document the strain on frontliners and hospitals in Klang Valley as COVID-19 cases continue rising.

According to a Facebook post, he shared that as many as 6 hospitals are running out of beds to treat patients with COVID-19, with some hospitals now almost completely full. This includes Sungai Buloh Hospital, which is currently only treating COVID-19 patients.

Also yesterday, KKM shared on Facebook that 88% of 152 critical care and ICU beds, which have been strictly reserved for COVID-19 patients in Klang Valley, are now filled as of 1st May.

Hospitals nearly full as COVID-19 cases spike in M'sia - patient
Image credit: Noor Hisham Abdullah

General wards and emergency department observation units in hospitals are now also housing COVID-19 patients due to the shortage of beds. Nonetheless, more beds will be repurposed to treat critically-ill patients in the coming days.

Several patients in Sungai Buloh Hospital are currently waiting to be transferred to different hospitals with critical care bed vacancies around Klang Valley under the guidance of Central Region COVID-19 Unified Command Center (UCC), as shared by Health DG in another Facebook post.

As of now, 345 cases require treatment in the ICU, while 175 cases need ventilators, as reported by KKM on 2nd May.

Hospitals nearly full as COVID-19 cases spike in M'sia - ICU
Emergency Department Observation Bay in Sungai Buloh Hospital now functioning as an ICU
Image credit: Noor Hisham Abdullah

In a separate Twitter post, Health DG shared a harrowing video of critically-ill patients seeking treatment in Sungai Buloh Hospital’s ICU, saying “we’re almost running out of beds”.

Along with this, he pleaded with Malaysians to stay healthy and safe. For Malaysia to see a decrease in cases, he also said that 100% compliance with SOPs is needed.

Frontliners working hard to treat COVID-19 patients

A photo shared by KKM yesterday showed medical personnel in Kota Bharu exhausted and lying on their backs at 3AM on Labour Day – showing just how tough it has been for frontliners due to the spike in cases.

Hospitals nearly full as COVID-19 cases spike in M'sia - frontliners

This follows the increase in cases nationwide. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba was quoted by Malay Mail today, 3rd May, saying that field hospitals for non-COVID-19 cases are now needed in Kelantan and Sarawak due to rising COVID-19 cases there.

Hospital beds to treat COVID-19 patients nearly full

Malaysia has seen better days in the COVID-19 fight. But there is a lot more to be done, with an increase in daily cases and a possible revision of the MCO in several states. As such, we are reminded to keep following SOPs set by the government to do our part in the fight against COVID-19, with hospitals and frontliners now facing immense challenges.

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Cover image adapted from: KEMENTERIAN KESIHATAN MALAYSIA and Noor Hisham Abdullah

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