Health Ministry hopes to double Covid-19 testing capacity to 150,000 daily

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry wants to double its Covid-19 testing capacity to 150,000 a day by establishing more laboratories and enhancing collaboration with the private sector.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said at present, the country is able to produce a maximum of 70,000 tests a day.

"At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, we only had 23 labs that could conduct 1,000 RT-PCR tests daily.

"But today, we have increased the number of labs to 68 nationwide.

"We are hoping that in the near future, we can do 100,000 tests a day and eventually up to 150,000," said Dr Noor Hisham at the ministry's Covid-19 press conference on Thursday (Jan 21).

However, Dr Noor Hisham said the lack of human resources was one reason why the ministry was unable to increase its testing capacity.

He said the ministry's labs, as well as those set up by the private sector, the Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry, universities and the Armed Forces, needed to be beefed up.

"Some laboratories, we think, can still increase its capacity.

"But we also need to look into human resources and reagents – not just at our ministry but also other labs," he said, adding they could also further maximise use of existing facilities.

Reagents are key chemicals needed for Covid-19 tests.

Earlier, Dr Noor Hisham revealed that the country's labs was carrying out over 47,000 Covid-19 tests daily, which is about 63% of its maximum capacity.

Article type: free
User access status:

Did you find this article insightful?


73% readers found this article insightful

Next In Nation

MACC to investigate after PKR’s Sekijang MP lodges report over poaching allegations
Structural repairs on Penang Bridge to be shortened by a week
China to boost Asean ties, supports region in fight against Covid-19
Siblings aged seven, 14, injured, parents die in car-van collision
Covid-19: Sarawak records 201 new cases, two new clusters detected
Covid-19: Eight new clusters identified, five linked to workplaces
PKR’s Sekijang MP lodges report with MACC over poaching allegations
Ismail Sabri: 442 nabbed for Covid-19 SOP violations on Saturday (March 6)
Ismail Sabri: EMCO in Kg Tringgus in Bau, Sarawak from March 8-21
Dr M gives thumbs up after receiving Covid-19 vaccine

Stories You'll Enjoy