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Capacity of Covid-19 testing labs increased: Health DG

29 Mar 2020 / 20:09 H.

PUTRAJAYA: The capacity of the Ministry of Health (KKM)’s laboratories involved with Covid-19 testing has been increased with assistance from the Ministry of Higher Education (KPT) and Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti).

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said KPT and Mosti have provided 10 additional diagnostic laboratories in tertiary institutions and teaching hospitals, including a mobile laboratory which can be stationed in hotspot areas.

“All 10 of the additional diagnostic laboratories are capable of conducting 42,420 tests a month or 1,414 a day,” he said in the Covid-19 daily press conference today.

Dr Noor Hisham said in the early stages, the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) was the only laboratory in Malaysia directly involved in the Covid-19 testing and this was later extended to 25 laboratories throughout the country, including seven private laboratories.

Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham called on more health volunteers to come forward to join the Covid-19 health and medical assistance team by filling up the volunteer registration form available on the ministry’s Facebook page.

He said to date, 157 health and medical volunteers have signed up and have been mobilised to help the Covid-19 health and medical team.

“A total of 1,008 more volunteers comprising people from various medical professions, will join the medical teams in the hospitals,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham also advised people at risk of Covid-19 infections, as well as their family members, to take extra precautions to avoid getting infected and to ensure that there is sufficient medical supply.

This is because of the 34 recorded deaths related to Covid-19 so far, 55.6% were aged 60 years and older, while 67.6% suffered chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, kidney diseases and heart problems.

He said these people who were at greater risk of being infected with more serious Covid-19 would suffer serious complications.

He also informed that health services were currently still available at KKM’s facilities, especially for follow-up treatment appointments, and to get their supply of medicine.

Anyone who needs counselling service can contact the virtual health advisory service from 8.30pm, to 5pm every day, and follow the ministry’s Facebook live sessions from 10am until 10.30am on Monday until Friday, and the Facebook live DoctorOnCall from 3pm until 3.30pm on Monday until Friday. - Bernama

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