Our public healthcare system was on the verge of collapse.
Subscribe to our Telegram channel for the latest stories and updates.
Malaysia’s healthcare system was headed for the worst if the lockdown hadn’t been put into effect, and interstate and inter-district travel were not stopped.
Berita Harian reported Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba as saying this was due to the ever-worsening conditions, as new cases were increasing on a daily basis.
New daily cases reached an all-time high on 29 May, at 9,020 cases.
The Minister added that the Government needed to make an announcement on a total lockdown with haste, to prevent our healthcare system from crashing.
“We had laid out the contingency and management plan for Covid-19 in early May, when infectivity rates were on the rise, between 1.1 to 1.2”.
We recommended the Government announce the Movement Control Order (MCO) 3.0 on 12 May, to control the spread of infections, 60% of which were sporadic, while 40% were from clusters.Minister of Health Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba
He added that the MCO with stricter standard operating procedures (SOP) was decided on 25 May, after seeing the infectivity rate rise above 1.2.
We are also concerned on the increase of infections originating from new variants of the virus such as South Africa, United Kingdom, India and Nigeria variants.Minister of Health Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba
An analysis made by the Health Ministry, Dr Adham said, compares the capacity of hospitals based against daily new cases and is categorized into four stages. The Minister said “The fourth stage which we wish to avoid as best we can, is when hospital services are crippled, which means over an average of 13,000 new cases over a 7-day period.”
Dr Adham said that on 15 May, Perlis was the only state to be in stage one, as healthcare services were at 80% to 100% vacant. Stage two consisted of Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Terengganu, Sabah and Federal Territory of Labuan.
Kedah, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Melaka, Johor and Kelantan were in stage three, with hospital capacities between 60% to 80%.
Selangor and Sarawak were the only two states in stage four, with capacity of less than 60%, and high infectivity in communities.
A drastic change was then seen in an analysis on 30 May, showing Pulau Pinang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Pahang, Kelantan, Sarawak and Federal Territory of Labuan joining the fourth stage.
Further adding to his concern, Perlis, Kedah, Perak, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Terengganu and Sabah had entered the third stage.
Dr Adham also expressed concern that nurses and doctors positioned in the ICUs had to take on almost triple their normal workload.
“The amount of beds allocated for Covid-19 patients is 9,753, or 27% of the hospital capacity of 35,621. Utilisation of all these beds causes a large strain on human resources.”
The standard of service delivery has been changed, where one nurse has to attend to two or more patients while working double shifts. Specialists and medical officers are also on call twice a day.Minister of Health Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba