KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 20 – The Ministry of Health (MOH) today detailed the havoc caused by floods in the East Coast on public hospitals and clinics in Terengganu and Kelantan.
The sudden rise in water levels in areas surrounding Besut Hospital, Setiu Hospital, and Hulu Terengganu Hospital has cut off land access to the government hospitals that can now only be accessed via water or air transport.
“Nonetheless, these hospitals are prepared to face the flood disaster with sufficient medical supplies, food, and disposable consumables,” Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement today.
He added that flood waters entered the emergency department and delivery theatre of Kemaman Hospital in Terengganu last Sunday night and receded the following morning.
The East Coast floods – which struck Terengganu the worst – affected 40 public health care facilities in the state, comprising 27 Klinik Desa, five Klinik Kesihatan, four dental clinics, three district health offices, and one vector unit in the state health department.
Of these, 19 health care facilities are still operational, six have shifted operations to alternative facilities, while 15 are non-operational. The 15 non-operational facilities are rural, public health, and dental clinics located in Hulu Terengganu, Setiu, and Besut.
As for Kelantan, the Health DG said Raja Perempuan Zainab (HRPZ) II Hospital, a tertiary hospital under MOH, and Tengku Anis Hospital (HTA) in Pasir Puteh were affected by the floods.
All services in HRPZ II Hospital are still running like normal even though flood waters have entered the building.
However, HTA’s laboratory and diagnostic and imaging services have been disrupted, as the hospital halted internal electricity supply to protect equipment from damage from short circuits.
“Any need for these services will be diverted to the nearest hospital – HRPZ II or Universiti Sains Malaysia Hospital (HUSM),” Dr Noor Hisham said.
“As many as 19 patients from HTA have been transferred to HRPZ II and HUSM due to concerns that flood waters may rise at any moment. The transfer of these patients is being managed by the Kelantan State Disaster Operations Control Centre (PKOB).”
A total of 32 public health care facilities in Kelantan have been affected by the flood, comprising 22 Klinik Desa and 10 Klinik Kesihatan. Of these, seven facilities are still operational, 22 have shifted operations to alternative facilities, and three are non-operational.
The three non-operational public health care facilities in Kelantan are Klinik Kesihatan Banggol Pak Esah in Pasir Puteh, Klinik Desa Sokor in Tanah Merah, and Klinik Kesihatan Wakaf Che Yeh in the state capital of Kota Bharu.
From November 7 to December 19, MOH detected 301 cases of acute respiratory infections (ARI), 260 skin disease cases, 14 acute gastroenteritis cases (AGE), 11 conjunctivitis cases, and a chickenpox case among flood victims staying in temporary evacuation centres (PPS) across Terengganu, Kelantan, Pahang, Johor, and Perak.
“No cases of typhoid; cholera; leptospirosis; hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD); or dengue have been reported among flood victims,” the Health DG said.
As for Covid-19, no clusters have been reported in PPS so far. From December 11 to 19, only one Covid-19 case was identified among flood victims in Terengganu, who has since completed isolation on December 18.
From last November 11 to 18, a total of 14 Covid-19 cases were reported among flood victims in Selangor (seven cases), Kelantan (five cases), and Melaka (two cases), all of whom have completed isolation and returned home.
The National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) reported, as at 6am today, 63,415 flood victims across Terengganu, Kelantan, Pahang, Perak, and Johor – with the vast majority located in the east coast states of Terengganu and Kelantan.
More than half of flood victims at 58 per cent, or 37,021 people, were located in Terengganu, while Nadma reported 25,353 victims in Kelantan (40 per cent), 934 in Pahang, 54 in Perak, and 53 in Johor.
Five casualties were reported as at 6am, comprising four in Kelantan (three women and a boy) and a girl in Terengganu.