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Malaysia's health workers suffering from high stress, exhaustion

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PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia's health director-general, Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, has said he and many of his colleagues are facing sleepless nights as the country battles the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr Noor Hisham said many of the Health Ministry staff have suffered from mental and physical exhaustion due to working around the clock, with little or no breaks.

"We have been fighting a war non-stop for 10 months. We have not taken holidays. We attend meetings which require action every single day. Many of us in the ministry - those on the ground or those behind the scenes - are suffering from a high level of stress. This includes the director-general of health. Some nights, we can't sleep.

"We have to think of health activities to organise and come up with solutions for problems. So far, we are hanging on," he said during the ministry's Covid-19 press briefing on Wednesday.

He was asked by reporters about the stress faced by the ministry's workers and front-liners during the pandemic.

Dr Noor Hisham said despite the severity of the current outbreak in Sabah, the ministry's healthcare workers are staying positive.


To reduce stress, he said work rotation is important as it allows staff to get time off.

Malaysia yesterday reported 649 new cases, raising the total to 30,090 infections.

There were no deaths, with the total number of fatalities remaining at 246.

Indonesia reported 3,565 new infections yesterday, taking the total to 404,048, data from the country's Health Ministry showed.

There were 89 more deaths, bringing total fatalities to 13,701.

In the Philippines, there were 1,761 new infections yesterday and 33 more deaths.

In a bulletin, the Philippines' Health Ministry said total confirmed infections had risen to 376,935, while deaths reached 7,147.

New cases in the country increased by fewer than 2,000 in seven of the last 10 days. - THE STAR, REUTERS