Health Ministry to import Covid-19 testing machines for faster results

Jerry Choong
Health workers testing members of the public for Covid-19 are pictured at the Section 7 Mosque in Shah Alam March 26, 2020. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — The Health Ministry is looking to increase its Covid-19 testing capabilities by importing specialised devices.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the devices from China were automated and could perform the tests faster than the manual procedures used now.

“Once we have the devices, perhaps we can do an additional 5,000 tests daily,” he said during a press conference, adding the ministry is also looking at other test kits such as rapid antigen.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry will also receive new kits from South Korea, which are due to arrive tomorrow.

“We hope the kits’ sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy will be more than 80 per cent. This way the ministry and other laboratories will be able to conduct more tests.

“At present 11,500 tests are being conducted on a daily basis, but we are aiming to be able to conduct at least 16,500 tests every day,” he said.

As of 12pm today, 3,662 Covid-19 cases have been reported, with 2,596 cases still being treated. 1,006 patients have since recovered and discharged.

New cases were reported today were 179, with four deaths. These include four men aged 53 to 72 who suffered from various ailments such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney problems.

Globally over 1.2 million Covid-19 cases have been recorded, with 247,961 recoveries and 64,973 deaths recorded.