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Hospitals running out of ICU beds: Malaysia's MOH

Country also reports its first case of Indian Covid-19 variant

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia's health director-general said yesterday government hospitals around the Klang Valley area are running out of beds at intensive care units (ICUs) to treat critical Covid-19 cases.

Malaysia recorded 3,418 cases yesterday, bringing the total to 415,012. There were 12 deaths, taking the toll to 1,533.

Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a Facebook post yesterday that one of the hospitals - Hospital Sungai Buloh - has seen more than 20 case referrals to the ICU daily in the past one week, adding that the hospital is almost running out of beds.

In a series of posts, Dr Noor Hisham explained how the public health care system is struggling to manage the load of critical cases.

He said six hospitals in Klang Valley that allocated beds at ICUs and critical treatment centres to treat Covid-19 patients have already hit the alert threshold.

Some, he said, were already at 70 per cent capacity while others were nearly at 100 per cent.

He also said that more than half of Covid-19 patients at the ICUs are facing breathing difficulties and require ventilator support.

INDIAN VARIANT

Meanwhile, Malaysia has detected its first case of a highly infectious coronavirus variant first identified in India, Health Minister Adham Baba said yesterday, days after imposing a ban on flights from India.

The Indian variant was detected in an Indian national screened at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Dr Adham said.

Dr Noor Hisham said the person is a foreign worker who travelled to Mumbai.

"The person entered Malaysia with a work pass on April 10 and tested positive at an international entry point," he said.

Malaysia has also detected 27 cases of the South African variant and three of the United Kingdom variant, Bernama reported.

"This is also the first report of the South African VOC (variants of concern) in Perak and Kelantan, involving some significant clusters with 10 cases in each state. In addition, we are still detecting the variant in Selangor with seven cases," Dr Adham said.

Yesterday, Senior Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob refuted a news report that Malaysia will be reintroducing the movement control order next week in several states with rising cases. He said the Malaysian National Security Council has yet to meet. - THE STAR, REUTERS

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