150% increase in patient arrivals at Covid-19 assessment centres, says Heath D-G

(File photo for illustration purpose only)

(File photo for illustration purpose only)

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KUALA LUMPUR (June 9): There has been a 150% increase in patient arrivals at the country’s Covid-19 assessment centres (CACs), from 4,000 daily prior to May to 10,000 on June 5, said  Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the CACs were set up to assess individuals who are confirmed to be Covid-19 positive and to subsequently determine if they should undergo home quarantine or be admitted to either low risk treatment centres (PKRC) or hospitals.

The centres are designed to help manage Covid-19 patients who are undergoing home treatment and reduce congestion in hospitals, as Malaysia is currently facing a steep rise in Covid-19 cases, he said in a statement.

Dr Noor Hisham added that the number of active cases under CAC monitoring climbed 108% from 5,300 to 11,300 a day during the same period.

“Besides, there has been an increase in the number of cases referred to the hospitals (step-up care) from May 23 until June 5, 2021, which is from nine cases to 35 cases,” he said.

Due to the significant increase in the workload of  the personnel at CACs within a short span of time, the phone lines to receive calls from patients frequently go unanswered, said Dr Noor Hisham.

He said this has affected patients who are undergoing surveillance at home, who had queries on their current health status,  especially those who had reported new symptoms or deterioration of symptoms via the MySejahtera application but did not see any action taken by the CAC.

As a result, the Health Ministry has decided to set up a call centre to help CACs in receiving calls from symptomatic patients to be channelled to the appropriate CAC.

“For a start, it will be implemented in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya, which have the highest number of  cases.

“Besides that, the ministry will add phone lines at 33 CACs in these three states to reduce the phone line congestion,” said Dr Noor Hisham.

According to the ministry, Category 1 patients who are asymptomatic as well as Category 2 patients who have mild symptoms, will be monitored by CACs.

Category 1 and Category 2 patients who do not qualify to undergo home isolation will be treated in PKRCs, while those in Category 3 and above will be treated in hospitals.

Malaysia reported 6,239 new Covid-19 cases today, taking the tally of confirmed infections nationwide to 633,891.

S Kanagaraju