KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia uses a targeted approach in conducting Covid-19 tests, with more than 1.6 million tests done so far, said the Health Ministry.
Its Deputy Minister Datuk Aaron Ago Dagang said there was no need to increase the number of tests done as the number of positive cases are less than 1%.
"According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, more tests need to be conducted if the number of positive cases are 5% and above.
"But in Malaysia, we are using a targeted approach and more than 1.6 million tests have been done.
"The number of positive cases is less than 1% so we do not need to waste money," he said in reply to Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad who asked why the number of testing has reduced over time.
Dr Dzulkefly said testing is vital and that the Ministry shouldn't let its guard down in handling the pandemic.
Aaron said currently, Malaysia conducts about 5,000 to 6,000 tests daily.
He said the cases among the local community are also low, adding that most of those tested positive were from those returning from abroad.
To another supplementary question by Fahmi Fadzil (PH-Lembah Pantai) on vaccines, Aaron said the Ministry is still monitoring for updates.
"What is spoken about now is the vaccine from Russia, they claim they have found a vaccine and named it after a satellite.
"However, we haven't seen any published, scientific proof so we are still waiting and monitoring the situation with this vaccine," he said.
He added that the Ministry together with the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry (MOSTI) are also teaming up to get access to the Covid-19 vaccine from other countries.
It was reported that Malaysia may get access to the Covid-19 vaccine from China if the Health Ministry finds it safe and effective for use.
MOSTI Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said this was part of the government's efforts to help develop a vaccine for the virus through scientific and strategic collaborations with countries capable of producing the vaccine.
Meanwhile, Aaron said the country is prepared in terms of logistics equipment, manpower and bed for patients.
He said there are 40 hospitals, 58 labs utilised and ample supply of medicine and beds.
"In terms of manpower, we have about 5,000 health workers on standby and another 2,000 more contract staff.
"As for PPE, we have stock for about three months and we have about 18 million of three-ply face masks," said Aaron.
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