HEALTH Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today commended the Penang government for its initiative in setting up Covid-19 call centres to help Covid-19 patients.
He said such initiative is crucial to improve the response time for the monitoring of Covid-19 patients and close contacts who have to undergo home quarantine.
It is understood that there are four call centres that have been established by the state government.
Three of them have already started operating. They are the Covid-19 Assessment Centre or CAC Call Centre, Covid-19 Penang Integrated Control Centre or Penang Covid-19 Unified Command Centre (PUCC) and PgCare Coalition Careline or PgCare Alliance.
Meanwhile, the newly-introduced Penang Covid-19 Call Centre is scheduled to operate on Sept 15 as announced by Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow yesterday (Sept 10).
“At the same time, I also would like to announce that the setting up of a field hospital at the Penang Hospital’s compound to accommodate Covid-19 patients is expected to be completed within a week.
“It will be equipped with more than 100 beds.
“A team from the Health Ministry (MoH) and Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) has visited the site and we will do our best to complete it as soon as possible within the stipulated time,”Khairy told reporters during his visit to the Penang Hospital with Chow today.
Chow said the Penang government is always working closely with the MoH to handle the Covid-19 situation in the state.
Separately, Khairy also said the MoH would hold a discussion with private hospitals in the state as soon as possible to request them to rent their operation theatre to the Penang Hospital.
“I have been told by the Penang Hospital management that the hospital has a very limited capacity to conduct an urgent surgery for critical patients because many surgery rooms here have been converted into Covid-19 wards.
“I also have been informed that the private hospitals, including their surgeons, refuse to conduct the surgery because of the high risk.
“But, the surgeons at the Penang Hospital are willing to conduct such surgery at the private hospitals operation theatre.
“So, the MoH took this matter very seriously and we will hold a discussion with them to solve the issue as quickly as possible,” he added.
On a separate matter, Khairy also announced that the polio disease in Malaysia has officially ended.
“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has informed the MoH on Sept 10 regarding the matter,” he added.
It is understood that the last documented case of polio was in 1992 before it was detected again in 2019 in Sabah.
Among those present during the visit were State Welfare and Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh, Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim, State Secretary Datuk Seri Abdul Razak Jaafar, Penang Health Department director Dr Ma’arof Sudin and Penang Hospital director Datuk Dr Teo Gim Sian.
Story by Riadz Akmal
Pix by Muhamad Amir Irsyad Omar
Video by Chan Kok Kuan