UMMC Denies Claims Of Protective Gear Shortage

By CodeBlue | 09 April 2020

The university hospital maintains it has sufficient PPE for all staff and workers treating Covid-19 patients.

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 – Universiti Malaysia Medical Centre (UMMC) has denied allegations that its health care workers lack personal protective equipment (PPE) amid the Covid-19 epidemic.

CodeBlue reported earlier complaints from an anonymous doctor about a lack of hoods and boot covers at the coronavirus-admitting university hospital in Kuala Lumpur, besides alleging that UMMC doctors were told to replace the plastic sheet on face shields and to reuse N95 masks.

“Currently, UMMC has sufficient PPE supply for all staff and workers treating Covid-19 patients,” UMMC director Dr Tunku Kamarul Zaman Tunku Zainol Abidin said in a statement to CodeBlue today.

“In providing health care services to Covid-19 patients, staff and workers at UMMC will adhere to the usage of PPE as set out in accordance with Ministry of Health (MOH) procedures, guidelines and standards.”

Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, head of UMMC’s Covid-19 task force and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, also rubbished the UMMC doctor’s claims.

“There has been NO such directive. This is complete nonsense. I personally keep tabs of our PPE. We have adequate supply for now. Don’t know what he is talking about changing plastic sheets,” Dr Adeeba told CodeBlue.

The anonymous doctor had also claimed that infection control guidelines in Malaysia varied, especially between university hospitals and MOH hospitals. Even within many hospitals, the doctor said unit heads and departments enforced different practices, including in public university hospitals in the Klang Valley. The doctor cited, for example, differing guidelines within a single medical centre on the types and number of layers of gloves to be worn.

“We follow MOH and WHO (World Health Organization) guidelines. If there are differences, it’s only minimal and with good justification,” Dr Adeeba clarified.

“There is a task force on Covid-19 that looks at all these very thoroughly. And the task force consists of people from multiple disciplines.”

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