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Friday, October 30, 2020

'Claim man died due to no beds in KK hospital untrue'

 


Sabah Health Department director Dr Christina Rundi has denied allegations that a man infected with Covid-19 died at a Putatan clinic yesterday because there were not enough hospital beds to accommodate him.

Christina said while investigations are still being done over the man's cause of death, claims of insufficient beds at Queen Elizabeth Hospital are untrue.

On Oct 29, she said, there were still 76 beds available at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Kota Kinabalu and 71 beds at quarantine and low-risk treatment centres.

"Queen Elizabeth Hospital has doubled its efforts in meeting the crucial needs of the rising Covid-19 cases daily.

"Specifically, the hospital has raised the number of beds in its intensive care unit (ICU) from 14 to 60, with 16 placed in the ICU while 24 are in the medical high dependency ward which has been modified to supplement the ICU," she said.

She added the Health Ministry had also mobilised 288 nurses to the hospital, with 88 of those trained in intensive care.

She was responding to the blog "Sabah Today" which claimed that a 60-year-old in Putatan died nine days after he was confirmed positive of Covid-19 because there were no beds to accommodate him at Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Citing sources close to the deceased's family, Sabah Today said the man was supposedly sent home after testing positive because there were no beds.

He allegedly suffered breathing difficulties early yesterday and was taken to a private clinic which referred him to the Putatan public clinic, where he died.

Two hospitals, five quarantine centres

Kota Kinabalu is suffering the worst surge in Covid-19 cases in Sabah, with 3,017 cases in the past 14 days.

The city and its surrounding districts are served by two dedicated Covid-19 hospitals - Queen Elizabeth Hospital and the Likas Women's and Children's Hospital (HWKSS).

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital has 456 beds while HWKSS has 117.

The ministry has also opened up five quarantine and low-risk treatment centres in the vicinity located at:

  • The Likas Sports Complex (133 beds for adults and 34 for children);

  • Institut Kemahiran Mara (121 beds);

  • Politeknik Kota Kinabalu (22 beds);

  • Institut Tadbiran Awam Negara or Intan (210 beds including 31 for children);

  • Pusat Rela (60 beds); and

  • Pusat Kebudayaan Penampang (93 beds).

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that the Sabah State Health Department has set up mental health psychosocial support teams in every district since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak in the state.

Christina said the teams were established to provide mental and emotional support to those affected by Covid-19 as well as to health workers in the field and hospitals.

She said all medical officers and physicians in the anaesthesia unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital work in a conducive work environment and are managing well to date.

"The department heads have reminded staff to take care of each other and to inform them or their department counsellors should they have problems coping with the workload," she said.

She was commenting on recent media reports on the physical and mental challenges faced by health workers in the state.

The Sabah Health Department would like to thank the public for their concern over our health workers welfare right now, Christina added. - Mkini

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