COVID-19: Malaysia left with 2 weeks worth of personal protective equipment for hospitals

COVID-19: Malaysia left with 2 weeks worth of personal protective equipment for hospitals

Health workers in protective suits work in a tent erected to test for coronavirus at a clinic in Ku
Health workers in protective suits work in a tent erected to test for coronavirus at a clinic, during the movement control order due to the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia March 23, 2020. REUTERS/Lim Huey Teng

KUALA LUMPUR: There are only two weeks worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) supply left to be distributed to all hospitals in Malaysia, the country's Ministry of Health said on Monday (Apr 13).

In a press conference, the ministry's director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah urged those who have been donating PPE to continue doing so. 

“The usage of the PPE has increased two to 10 folds the normal amount. It’s not like ventilators where once you have it, then it’s enough. These are consumables. 

“PPE, we use them everyday and what is important is that we continue getting these supplies. As of now, we have about two weeks (worth of) supply,” he said. 

Malaysia COVID-19 (1)
This handout photo taken and released on February 4, 2020 by Malaysia's Ministry of Health shows health workers wearing protective suits as Malaysian nationals arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, after being evacuated from China's Wuhan. (Photo: AFP/Malaysia's Ministry of Health/Muzzafar Kasim) 

Dr Noor Hisham explained that PPE is obtained through three methods.

"Firstly the distribution is done by the central (government). Secondly, by the states and third is by different non-governmental organisations,” he said, adding that the ministry was working on effectively disbursing the supplies to all the states. 

Earlier this month, he assured the public that PPE supply was sufficient, while adding that the challenge was distributing them to hospitals that needed them the most, including those in Sabah and Sarawak.

READ: Hair salons, barbers and optometrists no longer allowed to operate during Malaysia’s extended movement control order

He said on Monday that there were 134 new cases, bringing the total count to 4,817. 

“There are 168 recoveries today, bringing the total number of recoveries to 2,276 which is 47.23 per cent of the total positive cases." 

He added that 66 cases were being treated in the Intensive Care Unit and 36 of them required the ventilator. 

One more death has brought the total number of fatalities from to 77, Dr Noor Hisham said. 

The newest fatality is a 62-year old man from Malacca with a heart condition and high blood pressure. The individual had also participated in a mass religious gathering that took place in Sri Petaling from Feb 27 to Mar 1. 

Malaysia hopsital covid-19
File photo of healthcare workers in Malaysia testing people for COVID-19. (Photo: Facebook/Noor Hisham Abdullah) 

25 CLUSTERS IN TOTAL, INCLUDING 1 LINKED TO BALI

Dr Noor Hisham told the press conference there are now 25 clusters and sub-clusters nationwide.

There is a new cluster linked to Bali, which has been detected in Kuantan, Pahang.

He said the cluster comprised 20 people, including 3 healthcare professionals. 

Fourteen people are being treated in Pahang, two have recovered, three are in ICU and one has passed on, he said.   

READ: How grocery shopping is now a highlight, not a chore

Dr Noor Hisham elaborated that the first case from the cluster had a history of travel to Bali. 

“He then had close contact with his brother, who infected seven second-generation cases and 11 third-generation cases.”

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Source: CNA/kd(mn)

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