Penang CM Denies That 2 Busloads Of COVID-19 Patients Were Transferred From KL & Selangor

Chow Kon Yeow made the statement after the matter had become viral on social media.

Cover image via Sayuti Zainudin/Malay Mail

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Amidst allegations that two busloads of COVID-19 patients from Kuala Lumpur and Selangor were sent to Penang, the state government stated that only a single patient was transferred for treatment

In a short statement yesterday, 14 July, Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow refuted the allegations.

Citing Penang Health Department director Dr Asmayani Khalib, Chow said that only one COVID-19 positive patient had been transferred to receive treatment in the state.

"The patient is now in a stable condition and under further observation," he said, adding that the viral allegations were false.

Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

Image via New Straits Times

Earlier, a Chinese daily's report alleging the "sad news" went viral on social media

Meanwhile, a Penang Hospital official clarified that transfers of patients between states is a long-time practice

Free Malaysia Today reported Penang Hospital's infection control unit chief Dr Chow Ting Soo as saying that the practice was perfectly normal.

"Netizens have said that it is not good to transfer cases here (to Penang), but I plead for common sense. We are talking about COVID-19, which can be isolated and cared for," she was quoted as saying.

"Last year, Penang sent cases to Ipoh, which included COVID-19 patients. For us to take on a case or two, it is perfectly acceptable. It is not that it has not happened before."

She went on to say that the decision to transfer patients to a health facility in another state would only be made after evaluating strict criteria. This includes available beds at the receiving hospital, adequate support facilities, and whether the patient has stabilised enough to be transferred.

"In the case of Selangor, there is a lack of beds for critical and high dependency patients. This forces the facilities there to look to other states to ensure adequate treatment," she concluded.

The Penang General Hospital in George Town.

Image via Muhammad Mikail Ong/New Straits Times

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