Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING: The state government plans to set up field hospitals to accommodate Covid-19 patients during the current pandemic.

Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian said the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) is looking at various sites for the proposed hospitals.

“We’ve been looking at the various options for Nightingale field hospitals from Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK), State Stadium to the new KPJ Hospital for more hospital beds during Covid-19.

“We don’t have the luxury or resources like China; building a 1,000-bed hospital in ten days but in Sarawak we have the spirit of solidarity in pulling our resources together.

“This is by breaking down barriers, abolishing boundaries from all corners with one focus only – to fight Covid-19 and save the lives of fellow Sarawakians,” he said in a Facebook posting on Thursday.

The Nightingale field hospital is a term used for field hospitals during wartime, named after prominent nurse Florence Nightingale who nursed soldiers during the Crimean War in the 1850s.

Dr Sim also said that being prepared is the best way for Sarawak to avoid from suffering the same fate as other countries like Italy, Spain, United States and the United Kingdom.

“We may lose jobs, lose income and face a bit of starvation during this trying time; but the most important thing is to remain alive so that we live to enjoy another day,” he said.

He stressed that panic, frustration, hatred, finger pointing, rumours and politicking doesn’t help.

“What helps is staying positive, staying at home and practise social distancing. Every Sarawakian has a role to play. Please play your role seriously,” he wrote.