COVID-19: 50,000 antigen test kits to be distributed to Sabah and Sarawak

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PUTRAJAYA: The first shipment of 50,000 antigen rapid test kits from South Korea which arrive this Friday will be distributed to Sabah and Sarawak as a priority for logistics reasons.

Director General of Health, Datuk Noor Hisham Abdullah said, the second batch of 100,000 however will arrive this Saturday after the shipments had a slight delay.

“We will send to Sabah and Sarawak first as we face some logistics problem there. For example in Sarawak we have the capability to do the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests only in Kuching, Miri and Sibu.

“With the antigen rapid test-kits we can expand the capability to other hospitals and health clinics,” Dr. Noor Hisham said in a press conference here on Wednesday (April 29).

According to Dr. Noor Hisham, the Ministry will have two biosafety cabinets placed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport for the use of the antigen rapid test kits.

“Samples need not have to be sent to selected laboratories for testing as it can be done at the point of care. Antigen rapid test kits would yield test results within 45 minutes and 15 tests can be done simultaneously,” Dr. Noor Hisham added.

Dr. Noor Hisham said, next week the antigen test kits will be distributed to the health staff for training purposes.

On the COVID-19 situation, Dr. Noor Hisham said, currently there are 94 new cases of which 72 are imported by Malaysian students returning from Indonesia while 22 involved the local people.

“The new cases bring the cumulative total to 5,945 while 55 were discharged reaching the cumulative total of 4,087 or 68.7%. Meanwhile 1,758 are under treatment and there is no death case today and 100 (1.68%) death remains.

“From the new cases 40 have been admitted to the intensive care units (ICU) while 18 need respiratory aids,” he added.

On the question of the health staff that needs rest after the long shifts in the COVID-19 wards, Dr. Noor Hisham said, the new cases have been reduced and now they can take their rest days.

He said, patients with light symptoms of COVID-19 will be shifted from Kuala Lumpur Hospital to the temporary hospital at MAEPS, Serdang while those in stage four and five will be transferred to Sungai Buloh Hospital.

“At the moment we have 1,500 contract/temporary staff, 65 experts and nurses from the private hospitals to help the government hospitals’ staff throughout the COVID-19 pandemic,” Dr. Noor Hisham said. –Malaysia World News.



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