Minister Wants Truth From Sarawak Health Department On Covid-19 Cases

By Kanmani Batumalai |

Dr Sim Kui Hian says Sarawak’s State Disaster Management Committee obtains Covid-19 data from the Sarawak state health department that is under the federal Ministry of Health.

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — The Sarawak state government today told the state health department to be transparent in reporting Covid-19, amid a discrepancy over the number of critical Covid-19 cases in the state.

Today, CodeBlue reported that Sibu Hospital is providing treatment for 27 Covid-19 patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) of the federal health care facility, based on information given by an anonymous source in the hospital.

However, that contradicts the Sarawak State Disaster Management Committee’s (SDMC) official Covid-19 report yesterday that stated there are only 12 active Covid-19 cases in ICU statewide, including five in Sibu.

Although SDMC is a wing of the state government, it obtains data on Covid-19 cases from the state health department, an agency under the federal Ministry of Health (MOH), Sarawak Local Government and Housing Minister Dr Sim Kui Hian clarified.

“Though health is a federal government agency, we hope they will investigate and tell SDMC the truth,” Dr Sim told CodeBlue today.

When asked about the discrepancies between SDMC’s statement and the Sibu Hospital doctor’s account, Dr Sim said: “I don’t have evidence to accuse them till MOH and Sarawak health department (JKNS) investigate and share the results with us.”

“Hope Sibu Hospital or JKNS don’t cheat SDMC,” Dr Sim added.

CodeBlue reported that Sibu Hospital was forced to step down severely sick Covid-19 patients with poor prognosis from critical care to accommodate new cases due to full capacity, as 27 Covid-19 patients are currently filling the facility’s 30-bed ICU. Sarawak is struggling with a surge of Covid-19 cases, reporting a quarter of some 29,000 new infections reported nationwide in the past fortnight.

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