COVID-19 news in brief: July 23

OXYGEN supply sufficiency will continue to be monitored with several hospitals in the Klang Valley already allocated with additional oxygen to ensure adequate supply. This was relayed at the daily Ministry of Health (MOH) and related agencies update on the Covid-19 situation in the country. Ampang Hospital which had a problem with the stabiliser expects to complete maintenance works by 7pm Friday. Hospital Selayang which faced a low pressure due to increased number of beds being used from a normal capacity of 960 beds to 1,300 beds also expects to fix the issue. Meanwhile, 3,000 oxygen tanks are also on standby to be distributed to hospitals immediately upon request.

HIGH NUMBER OF 15,573 new cases including 32 imported ones overnight were reported today. A total of 144 people died of the virus overnight, bringing total deaths from the virus to 7,718 in the country so far. A total of 10,094 people also recovered from the virus while 939 people are in intensive care unit with 456 them needing assisted breathing.

NEW VARIANT cases amounted to 119 among the new cases today. These comprised 106 of the Delta variant B.1.617.2 and 10 cases of the Beta variant B.1.351. Three cases of the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7). The cases raised the total number of variant of concern (VOC) and variant of interest (VOI) to 429 (409 VOC dan 20 VOI).

CONTRACT DOCTORS resignations amounted to 163 between January and July this year. To a question on whether healthcare resources will be affected by this, answers given at the MOH press conference today related to why they were resigning. Among the reasons given were that some had resigned to join the PPV where they get better incentives, while some had left to take over their family clinics, some had even changed profession such as going into the internet creative business such as photography. The claim was that they claimed better earnings there. The prime minister’s announcement today that the government will extend contracts and better deals for contract doctors to pursue areas of specialisation is expected to encourage contract doctors to stay.