Death by COVID-19 in Malaysia. What has been going on and what happens next?

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More Covid-19 patients are being brought in dead – why this happens and what needs to be done
The total cases of death reported from COVID-19 in Malaysia breached 5,700 on 8 July 2021. In May 2021, there was 123 BID (brought in dead) cases. Cases of deaths and BIDs have been increasing despite the expedition of vaccination to Malaysians.

Not taking symptoms seriously

According to the Ministry of Health Malaysia, a lot of patients do not feel that their symptoms could be COVID-19. Hence, they leave the condition as it was but only experience some rapid deterioration in health later. As a result of this, they do not have enough time to recover or seek medical attention. If you have been experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or come in contact with someone who does, contact the KKM (Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia) immediately (http://covid-19.moh.gov.my/hotline). Do not wait!

What happens after a person dies from COVID-19 in a hospital

There are strict SOPs that must be followed for bodies of the deceased from COVID-19. Among them include:

  • The bodies must be transported to the mortuary from the hospital’s Emergency and Trauma Department (EDT) as soon as possible.
  • Relatives are NOT ALLOWED to have any physical contact with the deceased.
  • Only 1 person is allowed to view the body at any time and must wear protective gear as per the SOPs.
  • Handling of the body is FORBIDDEN under any circumstances
  • Bodies will be wrapped with 2 layers of body bags, both of which are carefully handled and sanitized accordingly.
  • The KKM recommends that the bodies of the deceased from COVID-19 should be disposed of as soon as possible. This can be through burial or cremation.
  • Religious rites can only be carried out under the Assistant Environment Health Officer’s supervision.

Poor conditions at public hospitals

It has been reported that many COVID-19 patients complained about the poor conditions when they were given treatment at public hospitals and medical centers. With the number of positive cases spiking well in July 2021, hospitals are running out of beds and ICUs (Intensive Care Units) which could be the reason behind this.

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