Health Ministry will be able to conduct 22,000 Covid-19 tests a day by next week


  • Nation
  • Monday, 27 Apr 2020

PETALING JAYA: The Health Ministry will be able to conduct up to 22,000 tests daily for Covid-19 by next week, says Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

The Health director-general said the ministry currently could test up to 16,500 samples a day, with the public and private sector working together.

He said the Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) automated testing device to be used by the Institute for Medical Research and the Kota Kinabalu Public Health Laboratory in Sabah, which could perform 5,000 tests and 1,000 tests, respectively, is an additional capacity of 6,000 tests.

There are currently 43 labs in the country that are able to conduct testing for Covid-19.

“Capacity wise, that is good but we have looked into the benchmarking by the World Health Organisation (WHO), and that positive tests should be about 10%.

“Now we are at about 4%. Unless we are detecting more than 10%, more needs to be done, ” he told a daily press briefing on Covid-19 Monday (April 27).

He said their targeted approach of locality and high-risk groups worked, judging from the movement control order (MCO).

“Today, we are seeing the results of it. We are in the recovery phase, meaning we are able to flatten the curve and have prevented an exponential surge of cases, ” he said.

“This is a new experience for all of us here. That experience has shown results. Because it has shown results, we continue to embrace the targeted approach to the locality, ” he added.

As of Monday, a total of 5,820 cases of Covid-19 were detected in the country, with 99 deaths recorded.

Malaysia is currently in its 41st day of the MCO, where people are instructed to stay at home, and movement and business operations are heavily restricted.

Last week, the government announced the MCO had been extended to a fourth phase set to end on May 12.

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