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Malaysia reports 150% spike in arrivals at Covid assessment centres

Centres set up to monitor patients undergoing home treatment as country speeds up vaccination campaign

PETALING JAYA : Malaysia has reported a 150 per cent increase in patient arrivals at its Covid-19 assessment centres (CACs) as the government speeds up its pace of vaccination in a bid to reach herd immunity by year end.

The CACs were set up to monitor virus patients undergoing home treatment.

Health Ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said that due to an overwhelming influx of patients, a new call centre will be set up to receive calls from those who are being directed to the CACs.

"The number of patient arrivals surged from 4,000 daily to 10,000 on June 5. The number of active cases under CAC monitoring has also increased by 108 per cent from 5,300 a day to 11,000 a day," he said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Dr Noor Hisham said the call centre will receive calls from symptomatic patients who are being channelled to a suitable CAC and field general inquiries concerning home quarantine.

"For a start, it will be implemented in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya as these places have the highest cases," he added.

Selangor, Malaysia's worst affected state, recorded 1,510 new infections yesterday, the highest number in the country, followed by 769 cases in Kuala Lumpur and 631 cases in Sarawak.

To date, there are 198 CACs in the country, each having a team comprising a family medicine specialist, public health specialist, medical officer, assistant medical officer, nurses and an assistant environmental health officer.

Dr Noor Hisham explained that CACs were set up to assess individuals who are confirmed positive for Covid-19 and to determine whether they are suitable to undergo quarantine at home, or must be admitted to either low-risk treatment centres or hospitals.

"This initiative was able to reduce congestion in hospitals when the country faced a steep increase in Covid-19 cases.

"Category 1 (asymptomatic) and 2 (mild symptoms) patients were monitored by CACs, while hospitals focused on treating patients in category 3 and above," he said.

Meanwhile, the government has been speeding up its vaccination campaign with a new record of 154,866 doses dispensed on Wednesday.

The number is the highest yet after it set a record on Tuesday with 151,309 people inoculated.

According to the latest data, Malaysia has so far dispensed close to 4 million vaccine doses as at Wednesday.

About 4 per cent of the 32 million population - 1.2 million - are now fully vaccinated.

National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme coordinating minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Wednesday that the government will continue to ramp up vaccination capacity in the Klang Valley.

Yesterday, the number of new infections nationwide was 5,671.

Total number of cases stood at 639,562 as at yesterday, with 3,684 deaths.

There were 73 deaths yesterday. - THE STAR

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