KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — Health Minister Dr Adham Baba today confirmed that Ampang Hospital has been recording about 10 to 15 Covid-19 deaths per day since July 20.
He attributed this to the higher number of Stages Four and Five Covid-19 patients in severe disease with comorbidities who require high-flow oxygen therapies, but did not clarify the potentially fatal problems of oxygen pressure imbalances at Ampang Hospital as reported by health care workers.
“The company in charge of oxygen supply at Ampang Hospital is refilling the storage oxygen tank twice a day, so the problem of shortage of oxygen supply doesn’t arise,” Dr Adham told a press briefing today, when CodeBlue asked about oxygen pressure problems in the facility that led to record Covid-19 deaths.
CodeBlue reported earlier today two sources at Ampang Hospital as saying that imbalanced oxygen pressure levels — due to high-volume usage — resulted in record Covid-19 fatalities at the fully designated Covid-19 hospital over the past week. Under normal circumstances, Ampang Hospital’s oxygen storage tank gets refilled every week, but now refills are done twice a day.
At least 29 Covid-19 patients died at Ampang Hospital on July 20, doctors said, on top of 23 Covid-19 fatalities reported on July 16. They said that on average, the Selangor facility recorded about 10 deaths per day from coronavirus this month.
Dr Adham also recognised that Covid-19 patients in Stages One (asymptomatic) and Two (mild) could rapidly deteriorate to Stages Four and Five with severe disease, depending on patients’ medical history and comorbidity status.
“I would like to stress that patients who receive early treatment in health facilities at Stages One and Two do have a chance of deteriorating quickly to Stages Four or Five, depending on the condition of each patient,” he said.
“Based on the daily figures provided on July 21, out of 11,985 Covid-19 cases recorded, 0.5 per cent were Stage Five cases, 0.4 per cent were Stage Four cases, Stage Three (1.5 per cent), Stage Two (48.7 per cent) and Stage One (48.9 per cent).
“The data gives a description of the current clinical situation based on the diagnosis carried out, and among these cases, there are those that will remain in their respective stages, those whose health status will improve, as well as those who deteriorate to more critical stages.
“Overall, from the moment patients are diagnosed for Covid-19, 2.4 per cent cases on July 21 are in Stages Four and Five, and 97 per cent are in Stages One and Two,” Dr Adham added, without giving statistics on how many Covid-19 patients eventually deteriorate.
Nevertheless, he said these figures show that there has been an increase in bed usage at hospitals, especially those under intensive care requiring ventilators.
He noted that most Covid-19 patients in intensive care units (ICUs) are now aged between 40 and 50, compared to those aged above 60.
“This situation proves that Covid-19 vaccines have been effective in reducing cases among vulnerable groups and the elderly.”