Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said Malaysia only has 19 days’ supply left of some medical items that form the complete personal protective equipment (PPE) used by medical frontliners to protect them from Covid-19 infection when treating Covid-19 patients. He reported that MOH only has enough medical jumpsuits to last for 19 days.
The usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) has risen 10-fold since Covid-19 hit Malaysia
Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said it is challenging for the ministry to ensure a steady supply of medical protective gear.
“The global stocks for PPE, which is an essential item for frontliners, are depleting. We need to find ways of sourcing more stocks so we can stay ahead of the curve.” He added that MOH only have enough medical jumpsuits that will last through the Movement Control Order (MCO) end-period.
Below are the current stock available for the medical protective equipment
- Footwear/boot cover – 78 days
- Protective head cover – 52 days
- Disposable face shield (eye visor, face shield or goggles) – 25 days>
- Disposable fluid-resistant apron (long sleeves with cuffs) – 23 days
- Jumpsuit/protective coverall – 19 days
Dr Noor Hisham said Malaysia is currently trying to source alternative N95 respirators from China
According to him, there is still a lack of care in the usage of the PPE – including the unnecessary use of the full suit where in some cases, a surgival mask and foot covers would be sufficient.
He also added that Malaysia is currently trying to source alternative N95 respirators from China after the US government has stopped the export to other countries.
“Previously, Malaysia was receiving a shipment of KN95 respirators, which is a Chinese equivalent of the US NIOSH N95 rating from China. We will try to order more of these to make up for the N95 imports.”
MOH welcomes any companies or public to donate more essential medical supplies
The ministry encourages the public to contribute more supplies of respirators, as it is among the items, which is most needed now. He hopes that more companies, NGOs or even private citizens will come forward to give a helping hand.
To date, there are many Malaysia’s fashion designers and tailors join hands to sew PPE for the frontliners including designer and MODA President Melinda Looi, Celeste Thoi, Khoon Hooi, Fizi Woo, Jovian Mandagie, Radzuan Radziwill, and more.