KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — Malaysia’s main Covid-19 facility, Sungai Buloh Hospital, is almost full, as private hospitals in the Klang Valley similarly hit maximum bed occupancy for coronavirus cases.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) confirmed with the press Tuesday that the Selangor-based Sungai Buloh Hospital, which only treats Covid-19, had a 90 per cent bed occupancy rate, in response to a viral message that claimed the public facility has closed admissions.
“At the time being, Sungai Buloh Hospital is only accepting Stage Four and Five patients or complex Covid-19 cases,” MOH’s corporate communications unit said, quoting the Selangor state health department. The fourth and fifth stages are severe categories of Covid-19 disease.
The Association of Private Hospitals of Malaysia (APHM) revealed yesterday that private hospitals in the Klang Valley are unable to accept any more Covid-19 patients, as their Covid-19 wards and designated intensive care unit (ICU) beds for coronavirus cases are now full.
“We understand the government facilities in the Klang Valley and maybe in Johor are fast filling up with the current increased number of patients,” APHM president Dr Kuljit Singh said.
MOH has not revealed the bed occupancy rates in other public hospitals in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, aside from Sungai Buloh Hospital.
Across Malaysia, there were 309 Covid-19 patients in ICU as of yesterday, including 147 on ventilator support. The nation has been reporting double-digit Covid-19 fatalities daily for the past six days, including 15 yesterday and the day before. Malaysia’s previous high of 25 Covid-19 deaths was recorded on February 18.
Yesterday, Selangor reported 1,083 new Covid-19 cases, the second consecutive day of more than 1,000 infections in 24 hours. The state’s previous high was on February 17 with 1,382 new cases.
Kuala Lumpur yesterday reported 359 new Covid-19 cases, after recording 440 fresh infections on April 28. The previous daily high in the capital city was recorded on February 4 with 481 new cases.
Looking at total new Covid-19 cases reported from April 23 to 29, Selangor took the top spot with 5,881 cases, followed by Sarawak (3,867), Kelantan (3,169), Kuala Lumpur (2,189), and Johor (1,345). Malaysia reported 20,237 total new Covid-19 cases in the past week, including 3,332 infections yesterday.
Sarawak, Kelantan, Selangor, and Kuala Lumpur also recorded the highest seven-day incidence rates in Malaysia that week, but Kelantan was top with 166.36 new cases per 100,000 population, followed by Sarawak (136.71), Kuala Lumpur (123.4), and Selangor (89.52).
These four, plus Putrajaya in fifth place with 67.95 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, exceeded the nationwide incidence rate of 61.89. The incidence rate helps to identify the risk of infection, meaning a person living in Kelantan was 2.7 times more likely to get infected with Covid-19 the past week than someone staying anywhere in Malaysia.
Covid-19 cases surge in the Klang Valley amid simultaneous outbreaks in Kelantan and Sarawak, two largely rural states with much poorer health infrastructure, that threaten to overwhelm several hospitals.
Kelantan hospitals have already reached or exceeded bed capacity for Covid-19 patients, forcing moderate cases to step down hospital care to low-risk quarantine and treatment centres.
In Sarawak, the bed occupancy rate in the state’s Covid-19 ICUs has reached 76 per cent, with 61 patients in 80 beds as of yesterday. Sibu bears the brunt of the state’s coronavirus outbreak, with Sibu Hospital now running at overcapacity in its Covid-19 ICU. Sarawak General Hospital, the state’s main public hospital in Kuching, is similarly facing full Covid-19 wards and ICU.
Correction note: CodeBlue made a mistake in the number of weekly new Covid-19 cases for various states in the 10th paragraph. The article and graphic have been corrected.