Health ministry enters ‘late containment’ stage to stop Covid-19 spread

Health Minister Dr Adham Baba says Malaysia will ask China for help in the fight against Covid-19.

PUTRAJAYA: The health ministry has entered into the late containment stage in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19 in the country.

Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said the ministry is also preparing for the mitigation stage by designating Hospital Sungai Buloh as a specialised Covid-19 admitting hospital, increasing capacity and lab capabilities for detection of the virus and identifying quarantine centres nationwide.

Another measure, he said, would be working with NGOs and private facilities for Covid-19 case management.

At a press conference here today, Adham also announced 125 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total number in the country to 553. Forty-two patients have been discharged so far.

He said 95 of the latest cases were linked to the Sri Petaling mosque cluster, referring to the tabligh (missionary) gathering two weeks ago.

Twelve patients were still being treated in the Intensive Care Unit, an increase of three from yesterday. All three are linked to the Sri Petaling mosque cluster.

Adham said more than 7,000 attendees at the event have undergone screening.

Asked if the government would announce a lockdown, he would only say “wait for an announcement tonight” from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

“There will be an important announcement from the PM,” he said.

He also said there are 926 ventilators at ICUs in hospitals nationwide, and 800 more are being ordered.

“What we need now are infectious disease epidemiologists and we have a sufficient number in each state,” he said.

Adham also said the government will appoint 830 contract nurses nationwide on a two-year contract to help in the Covid-19 fight, as well as seek help from China.

“We are working on that, we have decided to ask help from China. The spread of the virus there has plateaued and they have excess equipment,” he said.