Dr Adham: Genome sequencing to be boosted starting August

PETALING JAYA: A consortium made up of several institutions will receive a RM3mil allocation to boost Malaysia’s capacity in carrying out genome sequencing of Covid-19 samples starting August, says the Health Minister.

With variants of concern contributing to the country’s high transmission rates, Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba (pic) said the consortium would aim to sequence 3,000 samples in three months starting August.

“We are doing this so that the portion of samples that are carried out for genome sequencing will exceed 1% of all positive cases.

“As a comparison, the genome sequencing capacity in Asean countries are as follows: Singapore (6%), Thailand (0.43%), Vietnam (0.31%), Indonesia (0.11%) and Cambodia (0.82%),” he said in the Dewan Rakyat on Tuesday (July 27).

Malaysia currently has sequenced 0.15% of positive cases, according to Gisaid which is an open-access platform which facilitates worldwide sharing of data on influenza viruses.

Dr Adham also said the digital technology had been utilised in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, such as the MySejahtera data to identify Covid-19 cases.

“As of July 26, MySejahtera has 27.7 million active users, with 2.44 million premises who have registered.

“It has recorded 6.7 billion cumulative check-ins to registered premises using the QR code, with 19.3 million check-ins daily.

“The MySejahtera app is also used to detect Covid-19 cases via the health status self-assessment by users, and also through close contact tracing via the checking of data by the district health department,” he said.

He added that the vaccine management system, which tracks the delivery of Covid-19 vaccine stocks, is also integrated with MySEjahtera data to monitor the ‘movement’ of the vaccines from supplier to recipients.

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