COVID-19: Health Ministry readies 20 isolation relief centres if floods occur

THE Health Ministry (MOH) has identified 20 isolation relief centres (PPS) that will be specially used to house COVID-19 patients affected by floods, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said.

He said the isolation relief centres would be located away from uninfected flood evacuees to ensure that the spread of COVID-19 infection was controlled in areas affected by floods.

“We will use the geo-mapping method to work with several parties to see the areas where there may be a possible increase in COVID-19 infection cases and the flood situation in those areas.

“We will ensure the centres we have identified can accommodate positive cases. Currently, those who are positive will be isolated and quarantined at home, so (when floods happen), we will place them in the isolation centres we identified,” Noor Hisham told the media after receiving the Director-General’s Award at the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department’s award presentation ceremony today.

He said that MOH would offer COVID-19 vaccination services at selected isolation relief centres to individuals who have not received their vaccinations or have yet to complete their vaccinations.

“We will adopt a balance to ensure COVID-19 doesn’t spread at the centres and use testing strategies, public health actions and vaccination coverage.

“If there are those who have yet to be vaccinated, we will intensify vaccinations at (isolation) centres and they can also get their booster shots there,” he said.

In a related matter, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun was reported to have said that 5,693 relief centres using schools, public halls, community halls and centres, prepared throughout the country were capable of housing around 1.63 million flood evacuees.

National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) director-general Datuk Aminuddin Hassim said his agency would work with district health offices to identify houses with COVID-19 patients or individuals undergoing quarantine.

“With this, we can inform the disaster operations control centre in each district on where to send special teams in personal protection equipment for rescue operations.

“For flood evacuees who are not infected or at risk, we treat (rescue) them as normal,” he said.

Aminuddin added that saliva-based COVID-19 screening tests would be administered to evacuees displaying symptoms entering relief centres, while those who are healthy would be exempted. – Nov 25, 2021.

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