More admissions in COVID hospitals after interstate travel resumed

KUALA LUMPUR (CNA) – There has been a growth in admissions for COVID-19 hospitals and quarantine centres in some states and federal territories after interstate travel was allowed to resume, said Malaysian Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin yesterday.

In a press conference, the minister referred to data graphs depicting COVID-19 patient admissions to public hospitals and Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centres (PKRCs).

“The graphs for Selangor and Putrajaya have started showing a rising trend after permission to cross state borders was given on October 11,” he said.

“The same situation is seen in Sarawak, especially for Category 3, 4 and 5 patients after interstate travel was permitted,” Khairy added.

COVID-19 Category 3 patients are classified as those showing symptoms and suffering from lung infection, while Category 4 patients require oxygen supplementation. Category 5 patients are classified as those in “critical condition with multiple organ complications”.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. PHOTO: THE STAR

In a tweet yesterday morning, the minister indicated that admission rates were up by 22 per cent in the Klang Valley and 16 per cent in Sarawak in the past seven days.

He noted during the press conference that COVID-19 infections at the national level has trended downwards. The same is also seen for bed occupancy and ventilator usage rates.

However, some states such as Sarawak, Kelantan and Selangor still showed intensive care unit (ICU) and non-ICU bed occupancy at above 60 per cent of capacity.

Similarly, Penang and Perak still showed bed occupancy exceeding 50 per cent.

He said the leading indicators in some areas, including Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, showed a worrying trend for hospital admissions and this is something that the Health Ministry will continue to monitor closely.

Interstate travel was allowed to resume from October 11, following months of travel restrictions across the country to curb the spread of COVID-19. A ban on interstate travel was first imposed in March last year when a nationwide lockdown was announced. It was lifted several months later in June when the COVID-19 situation improved, but reintroduced in early January amid a spike in infections.