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Medical Frontliners In Sarawak Report Insufficient PPE Supply And Poor Quarantine Facilities

Medical Frontliners In Sarawak Report Insufficient PPE Supply And Poor Quarantine Facilities

A handful of frontline workers tested positive from the Hospital Sentosa Cluster.

Tasneem Nazari

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Medical frontline staff dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak in Sarawak have recently reported a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) supply and second-rate quarantine facilities.

What you need to know: Member of Parliament Chong Chieng Jen (Stampin) highlighted the matter to Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba during the Dewan Rakyat session today (28 July)

He said that the lack of PPE in Sarawak has led to frontliners seeking donations from the public and NGOs. On top of that, some of the government-owned quarantine facilities being used for frontline staff lacked bedsheets and pillowcases, and also had poor Internet access.

Why it matters: Frontline staff are named so because they are working against the Covid-19 outbreak on the frontlines, coming into contact with infected people on a daily basis.

They are our first line of defence against the pandemic, and as a nation we are responsible to ensure their safety as they put their lives and the lives of their loved ones on the line for us.

If they get infected and fall sick, Malaysia would face a shortage of staff and hospitals could become overloaded as more citizens fall sick.

Who said what: Chong asked Dr Adham to attend to the issue and upgrade the state’s Covid-19 safety facilities. 

We always say thank you to them (frontliners) but when they do their job, there is a lack of equipment and when they are infected, facilities are also lacking.

Chong Chieng Jen via The Star

He also read aloud a complaint he received from a frontliner in Sarawak.

Can’t help but wonder why Sarawakians who come back from overseas are allowed to be quarantined in hotels, and this is fully paid by the state government, while we as staff of Hospital Sentosa are being thrown into hostels and colleges that have never been heard (of) before in some secluded area which is poorly maintained.

Complaint from frontline staff in Sarawak read by Chong Chieng Jen via The Star

In his reply, Dr Adham acknowledged that in the initial stages of the movement control order (MCO), there had been a nationwide shortage of PPE, adding that the problem had since been resolved.

There are sufficient PPEs in Sarawak for it to hold up.

Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba via The Star

How it got here: Chong was seeking clarification from Dr Adham on the situation in Kuching which has been declared a red zone recently due to the Hospital Sentosa cluster.

As of July, a total of 18,680 individuals of the cluster had been identified and screened, with 21 testing positive. Meanwhile, 587 had tested negative for the virus, and 72 individuals were still awaiting test results.

The cluster involves several frontline staff, 10 of whom were quarantined at the Inland Revenue Board Academy, 86 at Institut Aminuddin Baki and 27 under home quarantine.

Read more:
Lack of PPE, second-rate quarantine facilities among frontliner complaints (The Star)


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