Category Four and Five Covid-19 patients now accounted for 15 per cent of those being treated at public hospitals versus just 3 per cent at the height of the second wave last year, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.
This comes after Dr Noor Hisham acknowledged that public hospitals designated for Covid-19 treatments were almost at their maximum capacity to accommodate additional patients to the number of beds available, leading to a shortage in beds.
“What is important is that we must look at the increasing number of cases admitted to public hospitals where Category Three, Four and Five patients are prioritised for immediate medical treatment.
“These categories four and five during the second wave constituted around two to three per cent during the second wave but has risen to 15 per cent now,” he told a press conference here.
Category One and Two Covid-19 cases comprised individuals who are asymptomatic and those exhibiting mild symptoms respectively, while Category Four and Five are classified as the severe stages of Covid-19 disease.
With the increased number of Category Four and Five patients, the death rate due to Covid-19 is also on the rise.
To put into perspective, a total of 148 Covid-19 related deaths have been recorded since January 1 alone, with Malaysia’s cumulative death standing at 619 cases.
Dr Noor Hisham further said that if one were to include Category Three patients, the estimate would hover around 20 per cent of the overall active Covid-19 positive cases.
“So if we have around 3,000 patients traced, then 20 per cent of 3,000 is 600 cases which will be admitted for treatment at public hospitals.
“As you can see now, cases involving treatment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and those requiring ventilators are gradually increasing as well,” he added.
Earlier, Dr Noor Hisham disclosed that there were 238 cases admitted to ICUs across the country with 96 of them requiring breathing assistance as of today.
Malaysia’s first wave was triggered by 22 Covid-19 cases in late January and early February last year, Dr Noor Hisham said back on March 4, 2020.
The second wave of Covid-19 started on February 27, 2020 and was the precursor to the nationwide movement control order (MCO) on March 18 last year.