KOTA KINABALU, Aug 19 — After breaching its own record of daily Covid-19 cases for the third day in a row, Sabah health authorities have decided to move more resources to Kota Kinabalu’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, the main Covid-19 facility in the state.
A circular sighted by Malay Mail and verified by State Health Department director Dr Rose Nani Mudin said that specialist clinics at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital II, better known as HQE II, will shut down in stages while its doctors and nurses are deployed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
“As the number of Covid-19 cases in the state continues to rise, the management has made the decision to temporarily shut down the specialist clinics in QEH II for a period of between two and three months depending on the Covid-19 situation,” said the circular.
“Staff from the clinics will be mobilised to QEH to help with the increasing number of Covid-19 patients there. At the same time, the spread of Covid-19 in QEH II can be curbed,” it said.
According to the circular dated August 18, the exercise started on August 16. QEH II was a former private hospital, about 15 minutes’ drive away from the main QEH that was purchased by the federal government in 2009 to assist the main QEH when it was undergoing renovations.
It is now mainly used as a heart centre or a specialist hospital for cardiothoracic health-related illnesses, and houses other specialists, but additional health services are also provided.
Dr Rose Nani said that the redeployment exercise was to ensure all Covid-19 patients at Queen Elizabeth Hospital receive the care they need as the hospital is one of two Covid-19 facilities in the state capital, which is also the hardest hit among all the districts.
“Yes, for non-emergency cases only, to ensure the ill cases will be well taken care of,” she said when contacted.
Asked whether the state can cope with the soaring Covid-19 cases, she said that Queen Elizabeth Hospital was still able to manage.
“At the moment, we are at 85 per cent. We have back-up beds at QEH II,” she said. The other Covid-19 facility is the Likas Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Sabah recorded the second-highest number of cases in terms of state today after Selangor, breaching the 2,000-mark three days in a row with an all-time high of 2,543 cases.
There are currently some 22,498 active Covid-19 cases in the state, of which Kota Kinabalu and its surrounding areas of Penampang, Papar, Putatan and Tuaran account for about half of that, with 10,352 cases in total.
However, a vast majority of the cases are in category 1 and 2, showing no or mild symptoms, with only 1,251 patients requiring hospitalisation: 158 in intensive care units and another 68 on ventilated breathing assistance.