Swab tests hit 10% of goal


Medical personnel performing swab tests on those who turned up at the council market complex in Jalan Rajawali.

PENANG has shifted into fifth gear for its mass Covid-19 screening programme (PSC-19), with almost 4,000 people screened under the programme so far.

About 600 people were tested at the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) market complex in Jalan Rajawali, Bayan Lepas, yesterday.

The on-site screening was held some 300m away from Pekan Bayan Lepas, which was under a 14-day enhanced movement control order (MCO) last month.

Kuih seller Halimah Ishak, 61, said she took part in the free testing just to ensure she is virus free.

“I do not have any symptoms but decided to do the test screening as I can’t afford to pay for the test from own my pocket,” she said when met at the market complex.

Halimah’s sister Noor Azizah, 55, was grateful to get the free screening as they were not tested when the Pekan Bayan Lepas was placed under enhanced MCO last month.

“We must thank our assemblyman Azrul Mahathir Aziz, who told us to attend the screening,” said Noor Azizah, who helps Halimah with her business at the market.

Jagdeep (second right) with state executive councillor Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain (right) observing a swab test in progress at the council market complex in Jalan Rajawali, Bayan Lepas. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The StarJagdeep (second right) with state executive councillor Datuk Abdul Halim Hussain (right) observing a swab test in progress at the council market complex in Jalan Rajawali, Bayan Lepas. — ZHAFARAN NASIB/The Star

Azrul, who was present at the site, said it was the right time for people in the area to undergo the screening as Bayan Lepas, especially Mukim 12, was a Covid-19 hotspot.

Penang local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo, who was also present, said a total of 3,291 people were tested for Covid-19 as of Thursday.

With 600 people screened at the market complex yesterday, Jagdeep said the programme, which began on July 5, had seen almost 10% or 4,000 of its targeted 40,000 people tested for Covid-19.

He also said the turnout at the Padang Taman Kejiranan Macallum on Thursday was encouraging, with a total of 1,241 people showing up for the test.

“We will ramp up the screening in five different places on the island and mainland until early next week to ensure those who have registered will be screened.

“There is no constituent boundaries as those staying in other areas or in mainland can do the screening here and vice versa.

“Our aim is to identify any positive cases and isolate them before the next stage of the process can be carried out on those infected by the disease,” he said.

Today, the screening will be carried out at SK Padang Tembak.

Tomorrow, the on-site screening will be held at the Sungai Dua MPKK hall in Batu Uban.

The venues on the mainland today and tomorrow will be in Mak Mandin and Taman Teluk Intan.

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