By Emma Victoria
THE Sarawak government will investigate allegations that Sarawak General Hospital medical staff are required to continue working while waiting for their Covid-19 test results.
LOCAL Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Sim Kui Hian said he will look into the issue and get feedback from the state health department and the hospital, Borneo Post reported.
A letter by a “concerned citizen” published by The Malaysian Insight news portal, claimed that the first few healthcare workers who tested positive were exposed to the first Covid-19 victim who died in SGH at the end of March.
The writer said that medical staff without personal protective equipment (PPE) intubated the patient as it was a “low risk” case. The healthcare workers were only tested when the patient was tested positive.
By the time their results came back – at least two doctors were tested positive but they had already resumed their daily rounds, and had meals in the pantry with their colleagues and did not wear masks.
Sarawak Health director Dr Chin Zin Hing refuted the claims, saying the hospital has taken all the necessary steps to prevent the spread of Covid-19 among the staff.
“There are about 50 plus cases in the healthcare cluster, however, not all the cases were recorded in a day. It is the cumulative number of cases over a month-long period. Some of them belong to other clusters,” he said at the daily Covid-19 briefing yesterday.
SGH has enforced strict standard operating procedures (SOP) to make sure that Covid-19 infection among its staff is under control.
Apart from using PPE in all clinical areas, staff also practice social distancing in wards and pantry.
“We have designated teams who would take care of specific wards so that they are not mixed with patients from other wards,” he explained.
It is not necessary to place SGH under a lockdown as the facility was providing services to other patients, he added.