Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Looming crisis sees Sabah’s health facilities under strain, but everyone can help

Money and volunteers desperately needed for new Sabah medical fund.

Other News

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The pandemic in Sabah is approaching crisis levels with truly alarming numbers.

It’s now three weeks since the Sabah election, and the number of Covid-19 infections in the state is still climbing.

On Sept 26, Sabah election day, Malaysian cases totalled just below 11,000. Sabah cases were rising towards 2,000.

Since then, the nationwide total has almost doubled, but Sabah’s total has more than quadrupled.

This brings the total number of cases in Sabah to more than 6,700, outpacing any other state.

On Sunday, Malaysia recorded 871 new cases nationwide, an all-time high. A record 702 of these cases were in Sabah, amounting to over 80% of the day’s national tally of new infections.

The state death toll is shocking. Between Oct 8 and 16, out of 35 country-wide deaths all but one were in Sabah.

The Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) reports that ward beds and ICU beds in the nine Covid-19 hospitals in Sabah are already over 70% occupied. Currently, only Covid-19 patients are being admitted.

Last week, the federal government agreed to spend RM50 million on Sabah state pandemic mitigation efforts.

However, MMA maintains much more is needed and it is organising a fund strictly limited to Covid-19 relief efforts.

A statement released on Sunday said, “We believe it is possible that more can be done to meet the needs of the state of Sabah in fighting the pandemic.

Between Oct 8 and 16, out of 35 country-wide deaths all but one were in Sabah.

“MMA’s Sabah branch together with the Malaysian Medical Association Foundation has launched a Sabah Covid-19 fund where all proceeds will be used for healthcare equipment, medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other related relief.”

The public is being urged to donate.

Meanwhile, health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah is calling for healthcare volunteers to assist fatigued medical frontliners in Sabah.

“As was the case during the second wave, a joint effort by every member of society can help fight this crisis,” he told MalaysiaNow. “The nation was grateful to everyone who donated to the Ministry of Health’s efforts during the first wave.”

He praised MMA’s current Covid-19 relief fund, saying, “We will accept all help with open arms and mobilise to fight this crisis.”

Those who wish to donate to the relief fund can do so at: the Malaysian Medical Association Foundation, United Overseas Bank, account number 1063057741 (Recipient reference: Sabah Covid).

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