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Dr Noor Hisham: New COVID-19 cases should isolate at home first as healthcare system is overloaded

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah advised those who are tested positive for COVID-19 and are asymptomatic to stay isolated in their homes rather than go to a hospital. This is because the the Ministry of Health (MOH) is already currently trying to ferry a high number of cases to hospitals.

“We are talking about more than 1,000 cases a day. This is because of increased testing among foreign workers, and as expected more cases being diagnosed. Foreign workers have no place to be isolated in… we have thousands here. We are increasing the number of beds to 10,000,” he said.

Cases in Malaysia have risen to more than 1,000 cases for a while now. The first peak started on 22 October at 1,228 cases. It rose to a whopping 2,335 cases on 26 December, with KL and Selangor recording over 700 cases each that day. Yesterday, Malaysia had a total of 1,196 cases—with Selangor recording 392 cases, and Kuala Lumpur with 202 cases.

Source: Google

Dr Noor Hisham also said that this is happening to Sabah, too. Sabah is also amongst the Malaysian states with most daily cases—gaining 186 cases yesterday.

Earlier this year, people in Malaysia who tested positive were taken straightaway to hospitals. Cases rarely exceeded 100 until around early September, and they have been rising higher and higher since then. There are over 20,000 cases receiving treatment at the moment, the highest since the start of the pandemic.

Dr Noor Hisham’s response was due to a business owner’s complaint about how three of her employees tested positive for COVID-19 but were yet to be contacted, or taken to government hospitals. She also questioned how MOH updates its contact tracing activity via the MySejahtera app.

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“Till today, MOH has not contacted them, no pink bands, nothing,” she said.

Dr Noor Hisham also said people waiting to be taken to hospitals should also keep in contact with their district health offices. Previously, Dr Noor Hisham has said if you have experienced any symptoms or made close contact to a positive case, you shouldn’t lie to healthcare workers. If healthcare workers are affected, it would also affect the hospital’s resource to fight the pandemic.

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