Health Ministry evaluating new test kits from Korea, China; to ramp up testing

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry has started evaluating new South Korean and Chinese test kits for Covid-19 at the Sungai Buloh Hospital and is looking to ramp up testing.

Health director-general Datuk Seri Noor Hisham Abdullah said there were no reports yet on the kits that arrived on late Friday night (March 27).

“We are testing the first batch.

"If the accuracy is good, we will order 200,000, ” he said during a press conference on Saturday (March 28).

When asked about the cost of the test kit, he said he wasn’t sure but that it was perhaps within the US$5-6 (RM21.60-RM26) range.

He also said that they had received 100,000 test kits from China.

“This is a different brand from the one we tested much earlier. We will also try to test the new test kit which is FDA-approved. I was assured by the ambassador that this is more accurate than the one we tested.

"So we wait for another day or two to test this new test kit, ” he said.

Hisham had previously said Malaysia would be able to test up to 16,500 samples per day from next week from the current capacity of 7,000 samples.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that the key to combat the spread of the disease is testing.

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