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See tells SDMC to improve home quarantine policies, monitoring

1 month ago, 26-Aug-2021

See Chee How

BINTULU (Aug 26): The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) has been urged to improve its policies and devise better procedural requirements and disciplines to better manage, monitor and treat the Category 1 and Category 2 Covid-19 patients undergoing home quarantine.

Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said the existing advice, restrictions, terms and conditions for home quarantine were inadequate and ineffective to prevent the spread of the virus particularly the highly transmissible and contagious Delta variant.

He noted that besides a printed advice, restrictions terms and conditions for those under home quarantine to observe, patients were to fill in digitised google forms or ‘home assessment tool to monitor symptoms daily’ before 10am each day.

However, he pointed out that the filling of the digital health assessment form appeared to be mechanical and discretionary.

He said a patient who had underwent home quarantine process told him: “No one seems to be monitoring, whether there were any or all the requisite answers and no medical or health advice were given.”

That patient did not have a thermometer and an oximeter at home, hence he told the health officer in the temporary Whatsapp group he was added. He was told that he can ignore those questions asking for temperature and blood oxygen saturation, said See in a statement today.

See, who is also a Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) presidential council member, opined that this could be the reason for the high numbers of daily positive cases there a sharp rise in the number of family clusters.

I am fearful of the effect this has had on the vulnerable senior members of the families and the children who are not vaccinated.

I am inclined to support the measures for home quarantine for the Categories 1 and 2 patients to ease the burden on our health systems but the isolation and quarantine of these patients must be adequately and effectively managed, supported, monitored and treated, See said.

According to him, the SDMC must ensure that the residences of these patients were able to function to isolate them from the rest of the family.

He said they should be given the necessary tools such as thermometers and oximeters if they cannot afford them.

See added, close monitoring of their health conditions and medical treatments should be readily available to them if their health condition deteriorates.

Above all, he stressed that the quarantine should serve its purpose to prevent these patients from infecting their own family members who may unknowingly and unintentionally transmit the virus to others.

He said the government should pay particular attention to the highly populated residential areas where there are many congested rented rooms in single houses, such as those found in Kampung Tabuan Dayak in the capital city of Kuching.

I certainly hope that the government will be transparent with the number of adolescent children who are infected with the virus each day.

We can never emphasise enough that we owe our adolescent children the added duty of care because they are yet to be vaccinated and it is believed that they make up more than 30 per cent of the reported daily positive cases in Sarawak, but the numbers over the last two weeks were conspicuously being withheld, he said.

See said as one state minister had constantly reminded, children and teenagers may have mild severity when infected, but as Covid-19 is new, there are a lot of unknowns with long Covid-19 syndrome and paediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome.

I hope that the same minister who is the advisor to SDMC would walk his talk and make it the paramount concern of our Sarawak State Government to safeguard and protect the health and well-being of our children.

It is another unkept promise when the roll-out of the vaccination for our children aged 15 to 17 years this week has been quietly shelved, he said.

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