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Malaysian Muslim cleric Rafie Zainal and his team members move a body of a Covid-19 victim to a van before burial at a hospital mortuary, in Kuala Lumpur May 23, 2021. ― Reuters pic
Malaysian Muslim cleric Rafie Zainal and his team members move a body of a Covid-19 victim to a van before burial at a hospital mortuary, in Kuala Lumpur May 23, 2021. ― Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 30 — “Today marks a dark moment when the country recorded its highest daily Covid-19 deaths since the pandemic began,” according to Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah. 

In voicing his concern, he said the 98 Covid-19 fatalities saw the death toll shooting to 2,650 cases.

He said the development caused the mortuary facilities in the Ministry of Health (MoH) hospitals to reach maximum capacity and it is getting difficult to accommodate the bodies of victims.

“There were 472 deaths in 2020 while 2,179 deaths were recorded in just the first five months of 2021.

“From May 1 to 29 2021 alone, there were 1,144 deaths from Covid-19. This is the highest monthly death cases so far,” he said in a posting on his Facebook account tonight.

Following this, he said the forensic department is providing special container to keep the bodies of Covid-19 or non-Covid-19 patients in five hospitals namely Selayang Hospital, Serdang Hospital and Sungai Buloh Hospital in Selangor; Sultanah Aminah Hospital in Johor Bahru and Queen Elizabeth I Hospital in Sabah as well as one ‘fleximort’ specially for Covid-19 patients at Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Selangor.

He said each special container can accommodate 20 bodies while the “fleximort” can keep 12 bodies.

Dr Noor Hisham said what is even more worrying is that the active Covid-19 cases have exceeded the capability and capacity of MoH to treat, with doctors forced to make the difficult choice of prioritising Intensive Care Unit beds for patients with the higher potential to recover compared to patients with poor prognosis.

“This is an implication that is not desired by every health worker, yet this difficult choice will have to be made when the health system reaches maximum capacity. Help us so that the national health system is not completely paralysed.

“All parties from the highest level to the general public need to help break the chain of Covid-19 infection. Make the best decisions and choices for the sake of the people and the country, ” he added.

The Health director-general stressed that in balancing life and living, it is important for all parties to always re -examine their priorities according to the current situation, but for MOH and health workers throughout the country, their priority is public health and saving lives.

“Let us stay at home and if you have important business outside, make sure you follow the SOP so that you and your family members are protected. Kita jaga kita (We take care of ourselves). Make sure there are no movements and gatherings. #LockdownKendiri #BantuSistemKesihatanNegara,” he said. — AFP


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