Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Health minister warns of 15% spike in late-stage Covid cases

Dr Adham Baba says Covid-19 cases during the third wave have mostly involved those aged 20 to 40.

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The number of Covid-19 cases in categories four and five has increased to 15% during the third wave compared to just 5% previously, says Health Minister Dr Adham Baba.

He said Covid-19 cases during the third wave have mostly involved those aged 20 to 40, in sporadic cases not linked to any clusters.

“The number of people seeking (treatment) at stages four and five has increased of late. So I suggest that the public be more cautious because some asymptomatic cases have been detected in these categories.

“Those in categories four and five require oxygen assistance and some need to be ventilated,” he said at a virtual press conference today.

He added that 870 healthcare personnel who had been vaccinated under the first phase of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme (PICK) had been infected with the virus.

He said 219 of them were infected after receiving the first dose of the vaccine jab while 651 others were infected after getting the second dose.

“Most of them did not experience severe symptoms because they had been vaccinated either with the first or second dose,” he said, adding that 449 healthcare personnel who have yet to be vaccinated had been infected with Covid-19.

Adham also thanked private hospitals which had increased the number of beds in their Covid-19 ICUs to assist the health ministry in tackling the pandemic.

He said the ministry welcomed the step taken by IHH Healthcare Malaysia, which had increased the number of beds set aside for Covid-19 patients in 16 hospitals under the company’s network nationwide.

“So far, there are 110 private hospitals which have agreed to provide 1,173 beds in normal wards and 119 in the ICU, specifically for the treatment of Covid-19 patients from categories one to five,” he said.

Meanwhile, Adham said the Covid-19 Vaccine Supply Access Guarantee Special Committee and Covid-19 Immunisation Task Force would meet to discuss the proposal to impose compounds and penalties against individuals who do not turn up at vaccination centres on the day of their appointments.

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