By New Straits Times - December 13, 2021 @ 8:15pm

SERDANG: Between 36 and 40 Low Risk Covid-19 Quarantine and Treatment Centres (PKRC) nationwide will remain operational because there is still a need to treat Covid-19 patients at non-hospital facilities.

National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) director-general Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim said its proposal for several PKRC to remain open despite calls for them to be closed and returned to the original agencies would be tabled before the Covid-19 Pandemic Management Special Committee, next month.

"Since, there are still cases, we will keep the PKRC open to a date when we will close them all. But not in the near future because there are Covid-19 cases with the Omicron variant and other variants for which appropriate treatments will be given," he said.

Speaking to the media after attending the "Berselawat PKRC Programme" In conjunction with the one-year anniversary of Malaysian Agriculture Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS) Integrated PKRC 2.0 here today, Aminuddin said that currently, there were still 66 PKRC which were still operating nationwide.

Aminuddin said the decision to close PKRC would be considered based on the current situation including the ability of hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients and when the nation has shifted from the pandemic to the endemic phase.

"One of the signs is to look at the usage of the number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds in hospitals. When there is an increase of patients at the ICU, we must give non-hospital support facilities like the PKRC.

"That's why we feel the PKRC are still needed until a time when hospitals can absorb Covid-19 patients and then we will close the PKRC," he said.

On the MAEPS Integrated PKRC 2.0, Aminuddin said it would remain open until Nadma felt it was no longer economical to continue its operation.

MAEPS was activated for the first time as a PKRC on April 16, 2020 and was closed on July 15, 2020, with the intake of Covid-19 patients at the centre only involving non-citizens in the first (without symptoms) and second (mild symptoms) categories.

On Dec 9, 2020, it was reactivated following a drastic hike in cases at that time and was upgraded to the MAEPS Integrated PKRC 2.0 on Jan 24, 2021 after starting to receive categories three and four patients on a moderate scale.

Earlier, Aminuddin, who represented Nadma, received a contribution of 250 tents from Mardi Corporation Sdn Bhd which were presented by Malaysian Agricultural Research Development Institute (Mardi) director-general Datuk Dr Mohamad Zabawi Abdul Ghani. – BERNAMA