KUALA LUMPUR, April 6 – Singapore has seen an increase in Covid-19 testing with about 2,800 to 2,900 tests done every day for the past three to four weeks.
“At this point in time, our practice is to maximise diagnostic yield we have coming out from the tests… in terms of the number of positive tests we have for the number of tests we perform,” Health Ministry’s director of medical services, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.
The island nation now has an average number of tests per million people at more than 7,000, compared with 6,800 on March 25.
The Guardian reported last Thursday that South Korea has tested over 300,000 people for free out of its population of 51.5 million, with a testing rate of 8,222 per million population, higher than the UK’s 2,109 tests per million population and the US’ 447 tests per million population.
Malaysia, in comparison, tested nearly 52,000 people out of its 32.6-million population as of yesterday, according to official figures, though it is unclear how many were new tests to diagnose Covid-19, as opposed to repeated testing. Assuming that 70 per cent are new tests for diagnosis, this yields a rate of 1,115 tests per million population.
Prof Mak further added that Singapore does not need community-based testing now, and that the focus is to test symptomatic patients.
“But this is a matter we review on a regular basis… and is something we might review and consider doing in the future,” Prof Mak said.
The country is planning to increase its testing capacity in a number of ways, including diversifying the types of tests hospitals and laboratories can do, and expanding where tests can be done.
“We have not found a suitable test to completely replace how we’re using PCR tests for diagnosis. (But) we are going to look at various different tests as they become commercially available,” Prof Mak said.
As of today, Singapore has recorded 1,309 cases and 6 deaths.