Covid-19: Health Ministry to send 11 more ventilators to Sarawak

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry will send 11 more ventilators to Sarawak after units previously sent did not work.

The ministry said it was in the process of obtaining additional new ventilators to meet the needs throughout the country, including Sarawak.

“As Covid-19 cases in Sarawak have shown an increasing trend over the past two weeks, the ministry in an effort to curb the spread of the pandemic in Sarawak had sent 10 Draeger Evita 4 intensive care unit ventilators which had been used at the Sungai Buloh Hospital for emergency purposes.

“All 10 ventilators had been tested and were in good condition and sent to several hospitals in Sarawak via a Malaysia Airlines flight on April 12,2021.

“The hospitals that received the assistance were Sarikei Hospital (two units), Sibu Hospital (five) and Bintulu Hospital (three),” it said Tuesday (April 20).

It added that as the equipment were for use ICU use only, these ventilators would be connected to the medical airway unit (MA4) in the ICU before use.

It added the use of ventilators in normal wards other than the ICU is a turbine type ventilator that has an internal air compressor.

“After fully examining the allegations about the receipt of ventilator assistance that failed to function, the ministry found that there was damage which possibly occurred during transportation to the designated facilities.

“Oxygen sensors and main circuit boards are very sensitive to vibration, temperature and humidity during transportation,” it said, adding that the ministry also sent eight units of new Weinmenn brand ventilators and eight units of ICU patient monitors to Sarikei Hospital.

It said three units of ventilators were tested and were used while the other five units would be tested and commissioned this week.

“The ministry will send an additional 11 units of new Sternmed brand ventilators to Sarawak and transportation will all be arranged immediately to the following places, namely Sibu Hospital (five Sternmed brand ventilators), Sarikei Hospital (two Sternmed brand ventilators) and Bintulu Hospital (four Weinmenn brand ventilators).

It was reported that Bukit Assek assemblyman Irene Chang claimed eight out of 10 units of ventilators given to Sarawak on April 13 were not functioning.