Covid-19: With ICU Beds Full, State Health Director Pleads with Sarawakians to Stay Home as Pandemic Worsens

Urging Sarawakians to ‘please stay at home,’ Dr Chin Zin Hing said the state and country as a whole was now in a crisis, adding that the state was now at the tipping point as healthcare is overwhelmed. — Picture courtesy of the Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas)

KUCHING, May 17 — Intensive care unit (ICU) beds in Sarawak’s public hospitals are full, state Health Director Dr Chin Zin Hing revealed today as he pleaded with Sarawakians to play their part to stop the spread of Covid-19.

Urging Sarawakians to ‘please stay at home,’ he said in a statement that the state and country as a whole was now in a crisis, adding that the state was now at the tipping point as healthcare is overwhelmed.

“Our ICU beds are over-run or other words full across Sarawak. The doctors are working very hard every day to turn over the ventilator or ICU beds so that the next patient that needs it can benefit from it. No amount of ventilator will be sufficient.

“We need to cut the Covid-19 transmission urgently!,” Dr Chin said.

He said without cutting the transmission of the virus, 10 to 20 per cent of positive cases would need hospital admission, and five to 10 per needed ICU care.

“Imagine if we have 1,000 Covid-19 patients, 10 per cent of 1,000 is 100 patients and 100 ICU beds are needed! In Sarawak we only have 53 ICU beds in four major hospitals. At current moment in all major Sarawak hospitals, we are running 92 ICU beds. All full! Remember, each bed if taken up will be used for at least 10 days on average,” he said.

Besides urging Sarawakians to stay at home, he appealed to them to stay within their family bubble and if they have symptoms suggestive of Covid-19 or have been exposed to a positive case or a cluster, to get tested immediately so as not to be the source of infection themselves.

He added that the people should work from home if possible and if they have to be in the office, they should practice the standard operating procedures, including wearing their face masks at all times and not to eat together as that will require them to remove their masks.

Dr Chin also directed his appeal to the non-essential services sector, which had been voicing their objections towards the recently tightened conditional movement control order that, among others, prohibited dine-in.

“All is not lost as we still allow take away. We really need to cut this transmission with everyone’s help now until the national and state vaccination programme is rolled out successfully.

“It is a very critical moment now! Please assist us to cut the transmission as our healthcare settings are very overwhelmed. Situation we are in now is very different compared to one year ago. We are at the tipping point.

“Please help us in our battle against Covid-19 pandemic! I appeal to you all. I beg your kind understanding,” Dr Chin said.

Sarawak’s Covid-19 cumulative cases rose to 38,816 today with 433 new infections. The state’s death toll also increased to 225 with one more death. — Borneo Post Online


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