KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) today encouraged people to get tested for Covid-19 at private facilities.
MOH provides free Covid-19 tests at its facilities to specific target groups only, such as persons-under-investigation (PUI), people returning from foreign countries, and detected close contacts of positive Covid-19 cases.
“MOH does not provide free Covid-19 tests for all. We only give free tests for instance to PUI, people who returned from countries abroad. We will conduct an investigation or conduct the tests for them.
“We will also conduct tests for the suspected close contacts from the active case detection method too,” said Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah at a press conference today.
“If they come forward to health clinics to get tested, we do not provide tests unless they belong to any of the three criteria. If we open the tests for the public, then all will come to MOH to get tested,” he added.
“However, individuals who don’t belong to the three criteria can get tested in private labs. We encourage them to get tested in private labs and not MOH labs.”
PCR tests in private labs cost hundreds of ringgit, averaging between RM350 and RM500.
Besides that, the Health DG also attributed the reduction in reported Covid-19 sampling to private labs not sending MOH details on negative test results.
“If we look at MOH, there is a reduction because yesterday and the previous day, the cases were less. But this was due to the reason that private labs do not send details on the negative cases. Only the positive cases were informed to MOH,” Dr Noor Hisham said.
At the same time, Dr Noor Hisham also stated that the capacity for daily Covid-19 tests has risen to 35,000, as the number of labs has increased to 53.
“If we look at the labs, there is an increase to 53 labs. We began with 23 labs, and now it has reached 53. So our daily capacity to do Covid-19 tests in a day also increased to 35,000,” he mentioned.
Dr Noor Hisham also stated that MOH is using the Public Health Laboratory Test Result System (SIMKA) to integrate data from public and private labs to trace Covid-19 tests that have been conducted.
MOH today recorded 41 new Covid-19 cases. Of the number of new cases, 38 were local transmissions, including 32 foreigners and six Malaysians. Three imported cases were also reported today. This brings the total number of Covid-19 cases in the country to 8,494.
A total of 54 Covid-19 patients were discharged today, bringing the total number of recovered cases to 7,400.
The number of active cases was reported at 973, whereas four patients are being treated in intensive care units. No death was reported today, with the Covid-19 death toll in the country staying at 121.