4,600 Covid-19 tests in two days target

KOTA KINABALU: The Health Department is targeting to carry out 4,600 Covid-19 tests within two days.

The department’s director, Datuk Dr Christina Rundi said they had deployed two teams consisting of 15 members each to carry out the tests.

“They will be working around the clock,” she said.

Dr Christina shared this information after witnessing the handing over of face masks by the Ma Zhong Friendship Assocation Sabah to Health and People’s Wellbeing Minister, Datuk Frankie Poon at his office in Wisma Tun Fuad yesterday.

Also present was the People’s Republic of China Consulate General in Kota Kinabalu, Liang Caide.

She added that this would clear the backlog in Sabah and allow the department to see the real Covid-19 situation in the state.

She then thanked all those who had contributed the supplies of reagent to be used to test Covid-19, as well as face masks which she said would provide protection to health workers in Sabah.

At the same time, she also said the department would screen all health workers to ensure they were healthy and not the source of infection.

“If we see a cluster among our staff, we carry out the screening and they cannot work (during that time),” she said.

Dr Christina also explained why it takes quite some time before the department discharges Covid-19 patients.

“We must be certain that they are negative (of Covid-19) before we release them. There have been cases of patients who showed negative of the virus but became positive again. And that is why the treatment is over 14 days,” she said.

Those discharged, about 33 percent of cases, were those considered really healed of the disease, she said.

Meanwhile, Frankie said there was a need to have a continuous supply of testing kits and other perishables such as face masks to fight the spread of Covid-19.

He said that a fresh batch of 25 testing kits called “Fortitude Kit 2.0” are also arriving and this allows the Health Department to carry out 5,000 tests.

The 25 test kits are donated by the Temasek Foundation in Singapore and will be used by the Makmal Kesihatan Awam Kota Kinabalu

The foundation also donated two units of VerPlex which comes with 500 chips and 500 RNA extraction kits which will run 500 tests.

“We need to have consistent supply of kits, because only then can we have an accurate figure of what is happening in the midst of this Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

He also said that Sabah would have a better reflection of the current status once the backlog was cleared by the Health Department.

“We have to know from the statistics. If the statistics are inaccurate, we cannot put the necessary measure to address the matter,” he said.

Frankie also appealed that more people to come forward and donate to the needs of the Health Department.

Source: Borneo Post

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