Penang Pantai offers first drive-through test for Covid-19 in Malaysia

GEORGE TOWN: The country’s first drive-through test for Covid-19 will be made available at the Pantai Hospital here in Bayan Baru.

A hospital spokesperson said the test would be unveiled within the end of this week and will cost about RM650 for each test kit.

Those interested need to call the hospital’s care line at 012-5771889 where they also need to answer a series of queries about their health condition before they can be subjected to the test which comes in the form of a nose swab.

The results would be known between 48 to 72 hours – a slight delay now owing to the rapid increase in testing done for this highly contagious virus.

In another development, state executive councillor Jagdeep Singh Deo, who is in charge of local government matters here, said Penang will fully cooperate with the federal directive to enforce a restrictive movement measure as part of efforts to bring down the rate of infections, which has surpassed 600 cases.

Jagdeep said private eateries including hawker stalls would only be allowed to do take-outs until March 31.

“There is no inhouse dining. Only take-outs,“ he told a press conference.

Jagdeep said basic and essential items would be available daily at the supermarkets, grocers and sundry shops when the restricted movement order is in place.

Those in public areas were also asked to observe safe social distancing of about one metre while also wearing surgical masks and to constantly use hand sanitisers to reduce the spread of the virus.

Enforcement officers would also be deployed to ensure cleanliness and to take body temperatures of patrons visiting the state’s premises from wet market complexes to government buildings offering essential services.

Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) in a statement said services will continue normally but the three recreational areas at the Air Itam Dam, the Bukit Dumbar recreational park and the Teluk Bahang Dam will be closed.

Meanwhile, shopping malls management here said they would be waiting for a directive from the relevant authorities on whether they should remain closed.