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‘Deploy overwhelming assistance to Sabah’ call
Published on: Saturday, October 17, 2020
By: NST
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The Covid-19 situation has been exacerbated by the rapid outbreak and infections among healthcare workers there. There have also been reports of an imminent shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and food insecurity in rural areas- NSTP/MALAI ROSMAH TUAH.
Kuala Lumpur: The Malaysian Health Coalition (MHC) called on the Health Ministry to deploy “overwhelming assistance” to Sabah to manage the State’s surging Covid-19 cases.

“Reports from Sabah indicate a worsening situation that sometimes contradict official reassurances (as reported on Oct 12 and Oct 14).

“The situation has been exacerbated by the rapid outbreak and infections among healthcare workers there.

“There have also been reports of an imminent shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and food insecurity in rural areas,” it said in a statement Friday.

MHC also highlighted that Sabah was already struggling with several social and health predicaments before the pandemic, which should be addressed through the State’s Covid-19 response.

“Prior to the pandemic, Sabah had significantly fewer health professionals and health facilities compared to other states.

“Sabah has the highest poverty rate in Malaysia, and one of the highest maternal mortality and childhood malnutrition rates in the country, with relatively poor health literacy.

“There is also a relatively high population of undocumented migrants and stateless persons in the State.

“Therefore, our short-term response must also feature long-term health systems strengthening for all Sabah residents,” it said.

MHC also urged all leaders, decision-makers and fellow Malaysians to act swiftly to stem the Covid-19 transmission and contain the outbreak in Sabah.

“The sustained death rate in Sabah is our collective failure. We must act now to save lives and stop the spread in Sabah,” it said.

Despite hosting only 12 per cent of Malaysia’s population, Sabah currently constitutes 35 per cent of the country’s total Covid-19 cases and 27 per cent of total Covid-19 fatalities in Malaysia.

Health experts on Thursday also warned that Sabah’s healthcare system could be overwhelmed if Covid-19 cases continue to spike in the next few weeks.



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