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Covid-19 patients are pictured at the Duchess of Kent Hospital in Sandakan. — Picture via Facebook
Covid-19 patients are pictured at the Duchess of Kent Hospital in Sandakan. — Picture via Facebook

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KOTA KINABALU, Sept 1 — Sandakan, the largest city in Sabah after the state capital Kota Kinabalu, is seeing a sharp influx of Covid-19 cases again.

To deal with the high number of cases in Sandakan, the Duchess of Kent Hospital has been forced to repurpose some of its regular wards for Covid-19 patients.

Sabah health director Dr Rose Nani Mudin said the hospital’s women’s ward, with 38 beds, is being used to cater to patients ill with the coronavirus.

She added that oxygen supplies are being rushed from other districts statewide to fill the need at the Duchess of Kent Hospital.

“We are also bringing in 10 more oxygen tanks from the district hospitals in Kinabatangan and 20 more from Beluran, to add to the 166 oxygen ports and 42 oxygen tanks we currently have in the Duchess of Kent hospital,” she said in a statement today following a message circulating on social media.

According to the viral message, supposedly penned by a frontliner, the Duchess of Kent Hospital is struggling to cope with the latest influx of Covid-19 patients.

The message, anonymously posted to a Sandakan-based Facebook page, claimed that Covid patients were waiting outside the full emergency room for up to four days while they wait to be warded.

The anonymous writer also claimed that oxygen concentrators were needed badly and the hospital had to give turns to patients to use the oxygen tank, while prioritising younger patients who had a better chance of survival.

“The morgue (forensic) is also overflowing with Covid bodies, waiting for burials,” the message read.

Sandakan on the east coast of Sabah is one of the biggest cities and along with Kota Kinabalu and Tawau currently has some 3,614 active Covid cases.

It is the district with the fourth highest number of cases after Kota Kinabalu and its adjacent districts of Penampang and Tuaran.

Dr Rose said that 80-90 per cent of Covid-19 patients being treated in the ICU now were unvaccinated.

She urged more people to get the vaccine as soon as possible to reduce the risks of death from Covid.

As of today, some 40 per cent of registered adults in Sabah are fully vaccinated while another 59 per cent have received one dose.

Sabah recorded 2,430 cases today, the second highest state after Selangor which logged 3,711 cases.

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