KOTA KINABALU: Taking Covid-19 lightly, not vaccinating against the virus as well as not reacting quickly after detecting having contracted Covid-19 are among the main reasons for the high number of Covid-19 related deaths in Sabah .
Sabah Datuk Department of Health Director Dr Rose Nani Mudin said reasons such as patients having co-morbidities before contracting Covid-19 were also another factor.
She said that based on their analysis of the total of 93 Covid-19 related deaths between February 8 and February 23 this year, 48% were those who had not yet been vaccinated against the virus.
She said 84% of those total deaths are those with a history of conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer and kidney failure.
“As for the 46 reported death cases (BID), most of them were those who had not yet received their booster shots,” she said.
Dr Rose said the high percentage of BID cases was due to the families of these patients or the patients themselves taking their Covid-19 symptoms too lightly.
“They feel their symptoms were mild and there was no need to seek immediate medical attention,” she said.
She said that in many of these cases, the patients themselves chose to wait and not take immediate action to see a doctor within 24 hours of their illness.
Some of the main symptoms of these cases are loss of appetite and fatigue, Dr. Rose said.
She urged Covid-19 patients to seek immediate medical attention for further instructions and proper medical care when they test positive instead of waiting.
She also urged those who have not yet been vaccinated and not yet received a booster to do so as soon as possible to fight the virus.
She also encouraged parents to bring their children, especially those between the ages of 5 and 11, to be vaccinated.
Earlier it was reported that according to the Health Ministry’s CovidNow website, Sabah has recorded the highest number of Covid-19 related deaths in the country in the past two weeks.
Statistics from daily Covid-19 updates also show that Sabah’s vaccination rate remains among the lowest in the country, at just over 62% of at least one dose administered as of February 25.
As for children aged 5 to 11, only around 10% in Sabah have received at least their first dose of the vaccine.
Some parents expressed concerns about vaccinating their children because they did not know how their children’s bodies would react to the vaccine.
However, there were also those who were confident enough to let their young children get vaccinated.
Olivia Miwil, 35, a former nurse, said her nine-year-old daughter Bree Tan suffered her first stroke at Queen Elizabeth Hospital here more than a week ago.
“Instead of being lethargic, feverish, having pain at the injection site, she seemed to be more active and talkative,” she said.
She said hiding from Covid-19 is neither a permanent solution nor good for children’s development, especially when it comes to education and social skills.
“It’s understandable that parents are concerned about possible side effects of new vaccines, which are told by lay people or anti-vaxxers or those reported on social media,” Miwil said.
“However, since the implementation of PICKids on February 3 in the country, there are not many reports of adverse events following vaccination (AEFI) in children,” she added.
Teacher Jacq Teo, 35, said his three daughters aged six, eight and 10 received their first dose of the vaccine on February 13.
“All the girls are doing well. They were active after their shots and have shown no negative symptoms so far,” she said.
She urged the public not to be swayed by the many unverified posts on social media and the internet promoting misleading information about vaccination.