Covid-19: Malaysia to receive new test kit from South Korea

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): Malaysia will receive a new antigen rapid test kit from South Korea on Monday (April 6), says Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said once received, it would be verified by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on its accuracy and sensitivity.

"We are hoping that this new kit’s sensitivity, specificity and accuracy rate will be over 80% so that we can improve the number of tests conducted daily to 16,500 from 11,500 tests currently,” he told a daily news conference here Sunday (April 5).

Dr Noor Hisham also said that the ministry would consider purchasing the kit if it meets the criteria.

He said procuring effective test kit was among measures taken to increase the capacity of the 43 labs that are currently operating across the country, besides the plan to add two more labs, each in Sandakan and Tawau.

"We are trying to optimise our labs’ capacity by pooling five cases at one go and hopefully we can improve the turnaround time as well,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was also looking at conducting the test using the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) method with the use of machines imported from China’s BGI Genomics Co.

"More importantly, it is automated so the process can be done faster and perhaps with the machines, we can do an additional of 5,000 tests per day,” he added.

On the use of sanitising tunnel, Dr Noor Hisham said it was a good innovation, however, there was a need for a thorough study on its effectiveness. - Bernama

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