MIRI: Malaysia could be turning the corner soon in its battle against the Covid-19 pandemic with the start of mass vaccination next year and the impeccable standard of response of the medical fraternity and other frontliners, Miri MP Dr Michael Teo said.
After the start of massive vaccination earliest by next month, cases are expected to be drastically reduced in Malaysia and around the world as approved Covid-19 vaccines become available.
“I am happy things are going to turn the corner and gradually life will return to normal,” he told The Borneo Post.
Dr Teo has asked Minister of Health Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba in parliament on whether there are sufficient hospital beds in Sarawak hospitals to cope with another surge of Covid-19 cases to which the minister replied that 4,083 beds are available in the 23 hospitals in the state.
Sarawak General Hospital, Sibu Hospital, Bintulu Hospital and Miri Hospital were designated for Covid-19 patients treatment and at the height of the second wave of infections, 1,219 beds for Covid-19 cases
and 1,524 beds for quarantine and low-risk patients treatment (PKRC) were available, said the minister in his written reply last week.
“So, I don’t think there will be another bed crisis in Miri or Sarawak any time in the near future – last week Sarawak had only a handful of cases daily and control is excellent,” he said.
He also welcomed Malaysia stepping up the vaccination capacity next year.
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday announced that the government has plans to increase its purchase of the Covid-19 vaccine to cover the immunisation needs
of about 60-70 per cent of Malaysians from 30 per cent currently.
Dr Adham along with Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation) had been instructed to negotiate and increase purchase of the Covid-19 vaccine, he said in his speech at the Gambir state constituency Deepavali 2020 celebrations here yesterday.
On Miri Hospital upgrading project taking off, Dr Teo welcomed the development to resolve the congestions faced by the people and need for more specialist services in northern Sarawak.
The two-term MP said he had highlighted the need to upgrade Miri Hhospital since his first term as MP, and had continued to follow it up with the Pakatan Harapan government and now Perikatan Nasional government.
“It’s good that the Ministry of Health finally listened to public opinion and the additional 328 beds should resolve the bed shortage problem in Miri Hospital and benefit a million people in northern Sarawak, “ he said.
He welcomed the prospect of setting up more specialist services such as cardiology, neurology burn unit and radiotherapy for cancer patients.
He said in the last few years, patients had to go to Brunei for heart treatment and some had to hire private helicopter costing up to RM40,000 to ferry comatose or very ill patients for emergency treatment in Kuching.
“This will be a thing of the past after the Miri Hospital is completed, and with the completion of the Pan Borneo Highway, the rural folks can reach major hospitals much faster, especially for emergency cases,” he said.