MoH boosts daily Covid-19 testing capacity by six times to 36,812, after 100 days of MCO

TheEdge Thu, Jun 25, 2020 08:14pm - 3 years View Original

KUALA LUMPUR (June 25): Malaysia has increased its daily capacity to conduct reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests to 36,812 after 100 days since the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO), according to the Ministry of Health (MoH).

Its health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the latest figure represents an increase of six times the daily testing capacity of 6,210 on March 18, when the order was enforced.

The RT-PCR test is regarded as the ‘gold standard’ in diagnosing Covid-19 due to its rapid detection, high sensitivity and specificity, according to the ministry.

In his daily statement, he said that during the first phase of the MCO, there were only 4,433 beds, 273 intensive care unit (ICU) beds and 626 ventilators.

In comparison, at the end of the fourth phase of the MCO on May 12, the total daily testing capacity had increased to 27,233 tests, while the number of beds, ICU beds and ventilators had risen to 8,794, 438, and 1,097 respectively.

Currently, there are 6,937 beds for Covid-19 patients, and while there are 442 beds in the ICU that are set aside for patients of the disease, they are now being used by other patients.

He said ventilators too were being used by other patients as only two Covid-19 sufferers needed them.

Noor Hisham added that Malaysia is now in a recovery phase as active cases dropped to 208 following the mortality rate of 1.41%.

“Now, to ensure that the country recovers fully and successfully implements the recovery movement control order (RMCO), the community must play a bigger role by following all the advice given and obeying the standard operating procedures set,” he said.

Just before the MCO was implemented, cases of Covid-19 rose to 790, while two people had died from the disease, on March 17.

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