KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — Malaysia has 506 confirmed, suspected, or probable Covid-19 cases requiring intensive care as of today, as well as 295 on ventilator support, the highest throughout the epidemic, said Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
The Health director-general said the average number of critical Covid-19 patients entering the intensive care unit (ICU) increased by 44 per cent nationwide compared to the previous two weeks.
Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Kelantan, and Sarawak — Malaysia’s current coronavirus epicentres — showed a higher rate of increase of Covid-19 ICU cases.
“Twenty-two Covid-19 hospitals recorded a bed occupancy rate for Covid-19 ICUs exceeding 70 per cent, while some exceeded 90 per cent,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement today.
“Several non-Covid-19 hospitals are also forced to treat Covid-19 patients who need ventilator support because these patients are unable to be admitted to Covid-19 hospitals due to full ICUs. Some patients also have to be put on a ventilator in normal wards.”
The Ministry of Health’s (MOH) official figures state 372 active Covid-19 cases in ICU, as well as 211 on ventilator support, both lower than the Health DG’s figures of 506 and 295 confirmed and non-confirmed Covid-19 ICU and intubated cases respectively.
MOH’s corporate communications unit explained to the press that the 506 ICU cases include 372 patients who tested positive for Covid-19, while the remaining 134 probable and suspected cases are cases under investigation or awaiting test results.
“Suspected and probable cases are treated with the same infection prevention and control protocols as positive Covid-19 cases in ICU or critical care beds,” said MOH’s corporate communications unit.
Dr Noor Hisham projected a continued increase in moderate (Stage Three) and severe (Stages Four and Five) Covid-19 cases among senior citizens and those with underlying health conditions, amid upcoming festivities, sparse Covid-19 vaccination coverage, and population density in certain areas.
MOH reported today 4,498 new Covid-19 cases, a three-month high since February 4 with 4,571 fresh infections then. Twenty-two new Covid-19 deaths were reported today, the highest daily toll from February 18 with 25 new fatalities then.
Several public hospitals in the Klang Valley, Sarawak, Kelantan, and Johor have run out of ICU beds for Covid-19 patients.