After private clinics and hospitals blamed, Health Ministry admits to delay in Covid-19 reporting

Justin Ong
·2-min read
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya on January 19, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah speaks during a press conference in Putrajaya on January 19, 2021. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — The Health director-general conceded today to delays in reporting Covid-19 results at the ministry’s Crisis Preparedness and Response Centre (CPRC) and the Public Health Laboratory Information System (Simka).

In his daily Covid-19 update, Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah also conceded that such delays were responsible for the surge in new cases reported in the country.

“The Health Ministry wishes to confirm that the situation was caused by the late reporting of cases to the CPRC including cases found to be positive in 2020.

“There has also been reporting delays using Simka by registered private facilities, such as private clinics and hospitals,” he said.

Dr Noor Hisham went on to thank the private operators for their timely reporting through Simka and MySejahtera users for self-reporting their Covid-19 test results.

He also gave his assurance that the cases reported late — including those from last year — have been dealt with appropriately by the respective district health offices.

Previously, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari blamed the spike in new Covid-19 cases on late reporting by private healthcare operators and threatened to penalise those who continue to do so.

Today, the Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) responded to Amirudin by saying the delay was not on their part but the laboratory network upon which reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results depended.

The association pointed out that RT-PCR tests could only be processed at approved laboratories, which must then manually enter the information into Simka.

Testing laboratories were already at their limits even before the latest surge in Covid-19 cases, the MMA added.

Consequently, it said it was unfair to blame private practitioners for delays in reporting such information.

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