Medical experts are concerned over the increasing number of Covid-19 patients who are dead on arrival at the hospitals.
Since the onset of the pandemic until mid-June, 414 people with Covid have been reported DOA.
Most of the victims were senior citizens with comorbidities or at least one pre-existing health condition.
The numbers are alarming, said health experts, adding that the rise in DOA cases could be in tandem with growing number of infections.
Virologist Dr Chee Hui Yee at Universiti Putra Malaysia’s Medicine and Health Sciences Faculty said ideally there should not be any DOA cases.
“Any DOA case is worrying,” she said.
She said the deaths could have occurred due to a lack of self-regulation or even a lack of awareness of infection.
Chee stressed the importance of Covid-19 patients using oximeters to measure their oxygen levels while in quarantine at home.
She said people should also get tested for Covid-19 immediately if they have symptoms, regardless of whether they have been in close contact with a positive case or not.
Most of the DOA cases have pre-existing medical conditions or comorbidities.
Malaysian Public Health Physicians Association president Dr Zainal Ariffin Omar said the Health Ministry must study to find out the reasons for the DOAs.
“Quite a number have chronic comorbidities such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity (and have the habit of) smoking,” he said.
Zainal said new virus variants are another possible reason for more DOAs.
He said some could have died due to delayed hospital care, adding they could have been Category 3, 4 or 5 patients.
Covid-19 infections come in five categories of severity: no symptoms, mild symptoms, pneumonia, pneumonia oxygen required, and breathing assistance required. – TMI