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Malaysia Adds 5 New Labs To Test For Covid-19

Malaysia Adds 5 New Labs To Test For Covid-19

Hakim Hassan

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Malaysia is ramping up its capacity to test for Covid-19 cases as the Ministry of Health has announced that 5 more laboratories in the country will be capable to carry out the task.

Ministry of Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that these laboratories are located in Tawau, Sandakan, Miri, Bintulu and Kluang.

With the addition of the 5 labs, Malaysia now has 48 nationwide which can run tests for Covid-19.

Although the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test takes at least 6 hours to process and may take up to 24-48 if the number of cases increases, the Ministry will continue using the method to carry out tests in order to optimise existing labs.

For those infected via close contact and are in quarantine for two weeks, a swab of the individual will be taken for the PCR test on the first day.

Then, on the 13th day, instead of doing another PCR test, health care officials will first administer an antibody serology test to save up time.

Dr Noor Hisham said if the antibody serology test comes out positive, the patient will undergo another PCR test because he explained that if there’s an antibody response from the patient, that means there’s an infection.

However, if the PCR test on day 1 is negative and there’s no antibody response from the serology test on day 13, the patient will be considered as not being infected by the coronavirus.

By doing so, Dr Noor Hisham said laboratories can reduce the number of PCRs used to test patients.


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