PETALING JAYA: The government’s decision to allow mild and asymptomatic patients in the Klang Valley to undergo home quarantine may increase the brought-in-dead (BID) rate, says a volunteer doctor at a Covid-19 Assessment Centre (CAC) in the capital.
Based on the health ministry’s reports, a total of 264 BID cases were recorded across the country from July 15-28. Selangor recorded the highest number, with 122 cases, during this period.
The doctor, who was speaking to FMT on condition of anonymity, said that with the Delta variant now spreading across the country, many patients were suffering from “happy hypoxia”, where they did not show any symptom of breathing difficulty despite low oxygen levels in their body.
“We find that with this new variant, the number of deaths at home due to Covid-19 is increasing.
“Although the patients look all right, many were found to have died in their sleep. This ‘happy hypoxia’ can be considered a silent killer,” said the doctor.
“In fact, this new variant has caused an increase in the death rate among younger people and those without any comorbidities,” said the doctor.
On July 26, the health ministry decided that patients who are asymptomatic (Category 1) and display mild symptoms (Category 2) in the Klang Valley would not need to go to CACs, following the establishment of virtual assessment centres.
CACs were initially established to evaluate whether Covid-19 patients should undergo home quarantine, be sent to Covid-19 quarantine and treatment centres (PKRC), or receive treatment in a hospital.
However, the setting up of the virtual CACs mean such patients do not have to leave their homes and instead have to follow self-monitoring guidelines.
The doctor added that the instruction for Category 1 and Category 2 patients to undergo home quarantine should be reconsidered as not everyone has a pulse oximeter, a device used to measure oxygen levels in the body, at home.
“When CACs are full, the government says only Category 3 patients and above should come in for screening.
“We are even more scared because most of them, when they get to the hospital, need to be ‘intubated’ or sedated to be given oxygen assistance,” said the doctor, adding that the government should increase the number of CACs based on the current increase in Covid-19 cases.
The doctor said that there were 19 CACs in the Klang Valley, established when daily cases were fewer than 5,000. The health ministry has since activated eight more CACs in Selangor — making for a total of 27 CACs in the area.
However, the doctor said this number is insufficient as the Klang Valley alone is currently recording more than 8,000 positive cases a day.
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