By Nur Adika Bujang
SANDAKAN, Oct 14 – The Duchess of Kent Hospital (HDOK) here is currently treating 27 COVID-19 cases at its intensive care unit (ICU) with some aged 50 years and below with no history of chronic diseases.
HDOK director, Dr Francis Paul views the number as high considering the limitation the hospital is facing as the number of positive cases in red zone Sandakan continues to increase by the day, while HDOK also treats COVID-19 cases from neighbouring districts Beluran, Kinabatangan, Telupid and Tongod.
“Although many COVID-19 patients requiring ventilators are aged 60 years and above with a history of diabetes, heart and lung diseases, there are patients who are younger and were healthy before being infected (with COVID-19) and are being treated at the ICU.
“This goes to show that this virus should not be taken lightly as it could infect anyone,” he said when met at a COVID-19 treatment centre at the Sandakan Sports Complex, here, today.
Dr Francis said new cases were usually admitted directly to HDOK, but with the limited number of beds of only 100 there, the hospital would now carry out further screening to determine whether those new cases were in stable condition and could be treated at extended wards set up outside the hospital.
“Nevertheless, we also ensure certain medical equipment such as vital sign monitors are available at the extended wards to keep up with the patients’ recovery progress,” he said.
The 200-bed treatment centre at the Sandakan Sports Complex is the fourth set up outside HDOK and is expected to operate this afternoon.
Dr Francis said 17 stable COVID-19 patients at an extended ward at HDOK Anjung Kasih would be moved to the sports complex.
Meanwhile, HDOK is seeking volunteers to carry out food delivery from the hospital to patients recuperating at the extended wards such as the Sandakan Sports Complex and another at the Batu Putih People’s Housing Programme (PPR), which is about 25 km from HDOK.
“I admit that some patients at the Batu Putih PPR have been receiving meals later than scheduled since of late and I apologise for the weakness on our (HDOK) part,” Dr Francis said.
“HDOK currently has a small group of volunteers carrying out non-medical tasks such as installing beds, as they are not healthcare-trained,” he added.
Malaysian National News Agency
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