RRTF: Enough Hospital Beds Despite Nearly 21,000 New Covid-19 Cases

The National Covid-19 Rapid Response Task Force notes that the number of Covid-19 cases monitored by the virtual CAC more than tripled from 30,000 three weeks ago to 100,000 currently.

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 11 – The National Covid-19 Rapid Response Task Force (RRTF) today assured Malaysians that hospital bed capacity is currently adequate to handle a surge of Covid-19 cases, with 20,939 new infections reported today.

RRTF co-chairman Dr Chong Chee Kheong, who is also the Health deputy director-general (public health), noted that 1,637 hospital admissions for Covid-19 and fewer than 10 deaths from the coronavirus were reported yesterday amid the Omicron wave. To date, there are 158 active Covid-19 cases in the intensive care unit (ICU).

In comparison to the Delta wave when 20,780 new Covid-19 cases were reported on August 11 last year, 2,928 patients were admitted, 1,547 were in the ICU, and 332 fatalities were reported.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said Monday that there are 850 ICU beds in hospitals nationwide, but that additional repurposed beds can be created for intensive care, including oxygenated beds.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah tweeted earlier today that of the 20,939 new infections reported, about 0.6 per cent have moderate to severe Covid-19 in Categories Three to Five, including 23 cases in Categories Four and Five. Category Four patients require oxygen support, whereas Category Five cases need ventilators.

“However, for individuals monitored at home through the Virtual Covid-19 Assessment Centre (VCAC), these numbers are surging exponentially,” said Dr Chong in a statement today.

“There are 100,000 individuals monitored through the VCAC currently, compared to 30,000 people three weeks ago.”

He said the Ministry of Health (MOH) would increase VCAC monitoring capacity to 200,000 cases by next week.

Today’s 20,939 new Covid-19 cases marks the highest 24-hour increase since September 10 with 21,176 infections.

Daily Covid-19 hospital admissions nationwide rose 86 per cent since February 2 from 879 admissions to 1,637 yesterday in eight days, according to the CovidNow website. 

The number of active Covid-19 patients in ICU have also risen, albeit at a lower increase of 41 per cent, from 112 to 158 in the same period.

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