This can tell us how many people in Malaysia may have been previously infected with Covid-19.
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Malaysia is going to be one of the first countries in Southeast Asia to conduct the Covid-19 seroprevalence study. The study will comprehensively determine the level of Covid-19 infection in the country.
What you need to know: According to Health deputy director-general (Research and Technical Support) Dr Hishamshah Mohd Ibrahim, the study falls under the scope of the National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) this year.
A seroprevalence study essentially examines the prevalence of the Covid-19 virus in the serologic (blood) samples of the community.
Why it matters: While the current test being used to determine Covid-19 positive status uses samples collected from nasal swabs, blood tests are a more comprehensive level of testing, which can provide information about possible past infections as well.
The findings of the seroprevalence study can provide a more accurate estimate of the Covid-19 infection at the community level in Malaysia which may have not been reported as most of the infections are asymptomatic or have mild and non-specific symptoms.
Therefore, respondents taking part in the study will also be able to find out their Covid-19 infection status.
What’s next: The seroprevalence samples will be collected together with the NHMS by the Public Health Institute from 2 August to 7 October and involve around 5,000 respondents from 2,000 residences selected randomly nationwide.
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