Health DG admits backlog in transporting Covid-19 patients for treatment in Sabah

Health DG admits backlog in transporting Covid-19 patients for treatment in Sabah

PUTRAJAYA: Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah has admitted there is a backlog in transporting Covid-19 patients from their homes to treatment centres in Sabah.

This follows claims on social media of Covid-19 patients being forced to stay at home while waiting to be transferred for treatment despite testing positive.

Nevertheless, Noor Hisham maintained that there was enough bed capacity in the 26 low-risk centres for more patients, adding that the ministry’s policy was still to transfer Covid-19 positive patients to centres or hospitals for treatment.

“Some individuals reached seven, eight, even ten days (waiting at home). If 10 days, it’s not necessary to transfer them (if they don’t display symptoms) because the (recovery) period is basically 10 days.

“In Canada, the isolation and treatment period is seven days whereas the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s recommendation is 10 days.

“There are some individuals who, initially because of logistical issues and delay in getting results, have been at home. More importantly, even if they’re at home they must quarantine themselves,” he said at a press conference today.

He said the ministry would continue to do its best for the people of Sabah, adding that extraordinary times called for “extraordinary measures”.

Noor Hisham also said frontliners and even the health ministry officials were going through mental and physical lethargy after combating the Covid-19 without end for the past 10 months.

“This is because we’ve been warring non-stop for ten months without any holidays. Every day we have meetings, briefings.

“Frontliners may be affected because they face high pressure and as health director-general, I too face a lot of stress. Some nights I can’t sleep because I’m thinking of what can be done to resolve the problems we face.

“For now, we can still hold on. I had a video conference with experts in Sabah this morning and overall their spirits are high.”

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