As Malaysia sees record Covid-19 deaths, Health DG says nearly nine in 10 ICU beds now occupied

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah during a press conference reporting the daily update on the country’s Covid-19 situation at the Ministry of Health, May 8, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 12 — Approximately 87 per cent of the 734 available intensive care unit (ICU) beds for Covid-19 patients nationwide are being used, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah revealed tonight

Earlier, he reported 39 deaths among Covid-19 patients in the past 24 hours or a 50 per cent increase from the previous record set just three days ago.

He said as of today, the number of cases being treated in ICUs was 641, including 469 confirmed Covid-19 cases, of which 244 were on ventilators.

“The suspected and probable Covid-19 cases must both be treated by using prevention procedures and infection control, similar to positive Covid-19 cases in ICUs and critical beds,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a Facebook post.

He warned that the ICU cases are not mere statistical figures, as each and every one of them is someone’s father, mother, brother, sister, or best friend.

“Many of our ICU wards are filled with Covid-19 patients, and hospitals have repurposed their other areas, such as ordinary wards, into ICUs.

“In this festive season, I call upon everyone to hold fast in adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOP) and celebrate moderately with only our immediate family. Visitations to one another is not allowed,” Dr Noor Hisham said.

The director-general pleaded for the public to endeavour in protecting their families and loved ones, particularly the elderly, small children, and pregnant mothers, from becoming infected by the virus.

“Saving lives is more important in this situation. May we be granted longevity, and the ability to meet with one another during Ramadan and Syawal next year, God willing,” he said.

On May 7, Dr Noor Hisham had reported the number of Covid-19 cases being treated in ICUs, including confirmed cases, those under investigation, and those suspected and probable, had exceeded 500 cases, the highest since the start of the pandemic.