By Emma Victoria
SARAWAK Health Department has admitted that there was a delay in Covid-19 test results turnover time in the past few weeks due to the increasing number of active case detection and contact tracing.
The department in a statement said that due to the sudden spike of Covid-19 cases, especially in Sibu and Miri, there was now a cut off time for its daily report on the virus.
“It has been a challeng for the report to reflect the real time conditions of admissions and discharges of patients. The inconsistencies of figures (on the daily report) is due to the time the data is released.”
The department said this when responding to allegations raised in a letter titled “Gross Misreporting of total Covid-19 patients warded in Sibu Hospital” by Dr Gabriel Walter, that was published on a local news portal.
The department apologised for any misunderstandings and misinformation that had caused the public to have mistrust and doubts on the daily report.
“The reporting may have its weakness, we note the discrepancies and have included beds allocated for Covid-19 patients, in both Covid-19 Quarantine and Low-Risk Treatment Centre (PKRC) and designated hospitals,” it said.
The department and Sarawak Disaster Management Committee have been working on upgrading healthcare facilities and ensure there were sufficient beds for the Covid-19 cases.
On Jan 24, Dr Gabriel questioned that since Sibu hospital’s capacity is 536 beds, how can it have 1,061 warded patients?
“Do they sleep in shift? Do you have one patient under the bed?
“Even if they manage to clear 50% of Sibu Hospital for just Covid-19 patients, that’s only 268 beds. Where are the other 793 patients supposedly warded in the hospital?
“Few months ago, we wrote extensively about Sabah hospital bed situation, hoping that we will be ready when it happens in Sarawak. It was later finally admitted in Sabah that many were actually given “Home Surveillance Order” and patients waited for days to be picked up.”