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KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) today confirmed the faultiness of eight ventilators it had flown to Sarawak to combat the growing number of Covid-19 cases there, adding that the machines may have become dysfunctional during its transportation process.
In a statement today, the ministry said that it will be sending 11 more new ventilators there immediately.
“After fully examining the allegations on the receipt of ventilator that failed to function, the MOH found that there were damages that may have occurred due to the process of transporting the equipment to the designated facilities. This is also possible because oxygen sensors and main circuit boards are very sensitive to vibration, temperature and humidity during transportation.
“In addition, the MOH has sent eight units of new Weinmenn ventilators and eight units of the ICU Patient Monitor to Sarikei Hospital. Three units of the ventilators have been tested and are being used until now, while the other five units will be tested and commissioned this week.
“MOH will send an additional 11 units of new Sternmed brand ventilators to Sarawak and transportation will be arranged immediately to the following place; Sibu Hospital five units (Sternmed brand), Sarikei Hospital two units (Sternmed brand) and Bintulu Hospital four units (Weinmenn brand),” the statement read.
MOH added that it is currently in the process of obtaining additional new ventilators to meet the ventilator demands throughout the country including Sarawak, adding that in an effort to curb the pandemic outbreak there, it has sent 10 units of readily available Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ventilators of the Draeger Evita 4 type that has been used at the Sungai Buloh Hospital for emergency purposes.
“In this case, all 10 ventilators have been tested and are in good condition, and have been sent to several hospitals in Sarawak via Malaysia Airlines flight on April 12, 2021. The hospitals that received the assistance are Sarikei Hospital (two units), Sibu Hospital (five units) and Bintulu Hospital (four units).
“Taking into account that the use of such equipment is for use in ICU only, these ventilators will be connected to the duct medical air unit (MA4) in the ICU before use,” it added.
MOH said that the use of ventilators in regular wards other than those in the ICU units, are turbine type ventilators which has an internal air compressor.
Earlier today, Bukit Assek state assemblyman Irene Chang alleged that eight out of 10 units of ventilators given to Sarawak on April 13 are not in working and functioning order.
In a media statement, she demanded the federal government and MOH explain to the people of Sarawak the serious threat to the lives of patients who may need to use the ventilators.