KUCHING, April 14: The Health Ministry will set up five additional laboratories, mostly in East Malaysia, to increase its Covid-19 testing capacity.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said they have identified Bintulu and Miri for Sarawak, Sandakan and Tawau for Sabah, and Kluang for Johor.
“Currently, there are 43 laboratories nationwide. The five new ones will be set up as soon as possible,” he said at the ministry’s daily Covid-19 briefing in Putrajaya today.
Meanwhile, Dr Noor Hisham said the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) is a global issue, as other countries also need them badly to counter the pandemic.
For Malaysia, he pointed out, the ministry will have to distribute and ration PPE accordingly for its medical frontliners.
“We will rationalise the usage of PPE by our health staff according to the guidelines. This is to ensure that PPE are worn by those who really need them. There are even areas where they do not need PPE,” he said, adding that there are those who do not need it or need not use a full set but are still doing so.
He added that current PPE stocks can last about 19 to 78 days depending on the type and the ministry is obtaining more PPE in bulk to ensure there are enough supplies throughout the country. — DayakDaily