KUALA LUMPUR, May 15 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) clarified it has screened 424,306 individuals for Covid-19 as of today, out of which 6,855 tested positive for the virus.
This means that Malaysia tests 13 people per 1,000 population, while the positivity rate is 1.62 per cent.
“This shows that Malaysia is among the countries with the highest number of Covid-19 testing among other Asean nations,” Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said in a statement.
“These are targeted screenings for groups with high risk of Covid-19 infection.”
Malaysia’s coronavirus testing rate of 13 people per 1,000 population is lower than Singapore’s reported rate of 25 tests per 1,000 population, but much higher than Indonesia’s 0.5 tests per 1,000 people. South China Morning Post reported last April 28 that the United States’ testing rate is 16 people per 1,000, while the United Kingdom’s is 10 per 1,000.
Dr Noor Hisham clarified that the latest testing figures came from better data collection, after MOH worked with several agencies, such as the National Security Council (NSC) and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC), to set up a database called e-Covid to streamline data from the field. MOH had reported yesterday that 297,342 people have been tested for coronavirus.
Laboratory data from all Covid-19 laboratories — comprising MOH, university, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Mosti), army hospital, and private labs — have been streamlined using a Public Health Lab Information System (SIMKA).
“This system was set up by the National Public Health Laboratory and has been used by all Covid-19 labs since mid-April 2020.”
MOH reported today 36 new Covid-19 cases, including 28 among foreign nationals. Fourteen coronavirus patients are being treated in the intensive care unit (ICU), including five on ventilator support. No new deaths were reported today, with the total Covid-19 death toll remaining at 112.