Forensic dept in urgent need of equipment for Covid-19 autopsies

Najjua Zulkefli Seth Akmal

The high number of Covid-19 deaths on a daily basis is draining the health authorities’ forensic department, said a forensic expert.

Dr Ahmad Hafizam Hasmi told The Malaysian Insight that they were lacking equipment especially when they are tasked in processing every Covid-19 death.

At the moment only Kuala Lumpur Hospital (HKL) has a fully equipped chamber room with specialised tools to conduct detailed autopsies on Covid-19 cases which are high risk, said Dr Ahmad Hafizam who is attached to HKL’s National Institute of Forensic Medicine (IPFN).

HKL is also one of three public hospitals nationwide equipped with Level 3 biosecurity laboratory facilities (BSL-3) that have special ventilation systems.

Apart from HKL, only two other hospitals are equipped with such post-mortem rooms - Sultanah Bahiyah Hospital in Alor Setar, Kedah and Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

IPFN currently has 60 staff including forensic physicians, medical officers, forensic scientists, nurses and administrative staff.

Malaysia recorded 107 deaths yesterday, bringing the overall tally of fatalities to 5,108. – June 30, 2021.

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