Act Now Before Johor Becomes The Next Klang Valley — Yeo Bee Yin

Daily Covid-19 cases and deaths in Johor increased by more than 150% from mid-July, but Johor has the second-lowest vaccination rate in Malaysia.

We call upon the Johor state government and the federal government to act now before Johor becomes the next Klang Valley.

The first two graphs show a worrying upward trend of new daily positive cases and deaths — a more than 150 per cent increase from mid-July until now.

The third image shows Johor having the second lowest vaccination rate in Malaysia, with only 17.8 per cent of adults fully vaccinated while 45.1 per cent of adults have received their first dose.

The Delta variant has already been detected within a number of districts in Johor.

Currently, ICUs in public hospitals are running at about 85 per cent of their total capacity, with 132 per cent of original ICU beds (which are generally of better quality) taken up. Covid ICU admission is 121% of total ICU beds allocated for Covid, i.e it is taking up ICU beds meant for non-Covid cases.

Further increases in Covid-related hospitalisation will reduce the quality of care for both Covid and non-Covid patients, leading to the collapse of the Johor health care system.

ICU numbers are as follows:

  • Total ICU beds (original): 120
  • Total ICU beds (repurposed): 67
  • Total ICU beds: 187
  • Total ICU beds for Covid patients: 108
  • Current Covid ICU admissions: 131
  • Current Covid non-ICU admissions: 27

A high infectivity rate, together with a low vaccination rate, the arrival of the Delta variant, and ICU facilities running short, make for a recipe for disaster, if nothing is done now.

With that, I call upon the state government and federal government to undertake the following:

  • Run Operation Surge Capacity (OSC) in Johor to ramp up vaccination (just like how the Selangor state government is working with the federal government to run OSC in Klang Valley).
  • Increase the state health department’s ability to Find, Test, Trace, Isolate and Support (FTTIS). In addition, the Johor state government must instruct all District Officers (DOs) to provide full cooperation to expand testing. Currently, elected representatives in some Johor districts are facing problems in getting the DOs’ support in running proactive community testing.
  • Expand ICU capacity, plan and mobilise additional human resources needed, and increase equipment and facilities needed for Covid-19 treatment. Do not only start sourcing for them after we hit 100 per cent ICU capacity.

We need urgent proactive actions from both the state and federal government before it is too late.

I am sure that elected representatives from both sides of the political divide will give their full support for such an effort.

Let’s protect Johor together!

Yeo Bee Yin is the Member of Parliament for Bakri.

  • This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of CodeBlue.

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