MOH studies need to open PKRC in Sabah's islands, inland

MOH studies need to open PKRC in Sabah's islands, inland
PUTRAJAYA, Oct 22  -- The Ministry of Health (MOH) is still studying the need to open COVID-19 Quarantine and Low-risk Treatment Centres (PKRC) in the islands and inland areas of Sabah.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the ministry needed to make a risk assessment and study the density of an area as well as the number of residents involved first before deciding to open PKRC.

“If the number involved is large, maybe we (MOH) will consider but we need to look at logistics issues as well.

“Thus far, the MOH is still studying the matter and if there is a need, ‘InsyaAllah’ (God willing), it will be implemented,” he said at a press conference on the development of COVID-19 here, today.

Dr Noor Hisham said this when asked to comment on activists’ proposals for PKRC to be opened in the islands and inland areas of Sabah as a solution for residents who are lacking knowledge of COVID-19.

Yesterday, Dr Noor Hisham said that the biggest challenge faced by MOH staff in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Sabah was having to traverse the thick forest to conduct contact detection.

There were incidents where the residents in the inland areas fled whenever they saw the authorities coming to their village to conduct a COVID-19 screening test.

Dr Noor Hisham said that the situation is due to lack of knowledge and awareness of the pandemic among the community.

On whether women who wear ‘purdah’ or niqab (veils covering their face), should wear face mask, he said that the women should wear fabric face masks or three-layer medical face masks as a measure to prevent COVID-19 infection.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended wearing face masks that have three layers of fabric ... so we have to follow the WHO recommendation.

“If you wear ‘purdah’, it is only one layer and is not enough ... so for those who wear ‘purdah’ we suggest they wear a fabric face mask or three layer face mask,” he said.