MOH Mulls Over Allowing COVID-19 Patients To Be Treated At Home

PUTRAJAYA: The Ministry of Health (MOH) is considering allowing low-risk COVID-19 patients to undergo treatment at home, said Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The director-general said the method referred to COVID-19 positive patients without symptoms but it has yet to be implemented as the number of beds in hospitals as well as at quarantine and low-risk treatment centres is currently sufficient to treat low-risk patients.

He said if the method is to be implemented it should take into account the suitability of quarantine space in the patient’s home.

“We can consider them (COVID-19 patients) to undergo quarantine at home which involves asymptomatic cases.

“It is necessary to look at the condition of space in the patient’s house. However, at this time there is no need (to treat positive cases at home),” he said at a press conference here today.

He said currently MOH facilities were still able to treat COVID-19 patients despite the spike in daily cases as it was being balanced by the high number of cases being discharged every day.

Dr Noor Hisham also said that 70 per cent of the total 1,123 beds in nine hospitals in Sabah designated to to treat COVID-19 patients have been used, while 30 per cent of 4,730 beds in low risk quarantine centres was utilised.

Meanwhile, following the rumour that early stage patients were being treated at home in Sabah, Dr Noor Hisham said home treatment was one of the options to be considered by MOH but it has yet to be implemented.

He explained that when a person has taken swab test, he or she would be advised to stay at home while waiting for the result to come out three or four days later.

“Hence, once the result is back on the fifth day (and confirmed positive), we take them to hospital.

Treatment at the hospital was initially took 14 days, but we have now cut it down to 10 days, in accordance with World Health Organisation’s guidelines.

“Once at home, it is as if we are treating them as positive cases, where day one starts from the day they take the swab test,” he said.