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Govt identifies temporary isolation, quarantine centres if COVID-19 cases exceed capacity

KUALA LUMPUR (March 25): The government has identified several places to be temporarily used as isolation and quarantine centres should the number of COVID-19 cases exceed the current bed capacity at the 34 designated hospitals nationwide.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the Ministry of Health (MoH) has prepared 3,585 beds specifically for COVID-19 patients at these hospitals, with 34% of the total having been occupied so far.

“The remaining 66% of the beds can accommodate new patients for now. Otherwise, several places have been identified to be used as temporary isolation and quarantine centres,” he said in a live televised speech today.

Muhyiddin said a directive has also been issued to the MoH to allow healthcare workers, including doctors and nurses, attending to COVID -19 patients to go on leave on a scheduled basis, before resuming their duties.

In the meantime, he said medical personnel volunteers, including doctors and nurses, from the private sector as well as other volunteers will be mobilised to take over the duties temporarily.

“To those who are on-duty on the frontline, I pray that every one of you remain steadfast. The situation that you are in is nothing easy. I know that doctors, nurses and other hospital staff are exhausted at this point in time.

“I have instructed the MoH to allow some break time for these medical staff before they return to duty,” Muhyiddin said.

Earlier, the premier announced another 172 new confirmed infections as of noon today, bringing the total number of cases to 1,796. He said the death toll also increased to 17, including a doctor.

“Seven days ago, total COVID -19 cases in the country stood at 673. This means that cases of Covid-19 positive have jumped more than one fold in just over a week,” he added.

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