By Peter Sibon
KUCHING, May 15: It is good news for the people of Bintulu as it will have its own laboratory to test virus samples and will be operational in two weeks’ time.
In announcing the good news, Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said the laboratory cost some RM1.35 million which was raised by his service centre.
“By setting up this laboratory, collected virus test samples are expected to yield accurate results within hours and speed up the process to provide effective treatment for patients. This should greatly lessen the delays experienced in Bintulu where samples had to be sent to Sibu or Kuching for testing and the results returned to Bintulu,” Tiong said in a statement issued here.
He added that with the setting up of the laboratory, it will reduce the backlog of people awaiting for their test results and this would allow the front liners to work much more efficiently.
“This will allow speedy tracing of sources of infections and begin the containment process of affected family members and other contacts by the patients. Risk groups can be reduced with the appropriate isolation measures and stop infections within communities,” said Tiong.
Tiong, who is also Prime Minister’s Special Envoy to China said, the arrival of these laboratory equipment was a new milestone in Bintulu’s health system.
“We must give credit to all involved in their delivery, particularly the equipment suppliers who gave priority to us under immensely tight schedules,” he said.
Tiong disclosed that a portion of the much-needed equipment would be given to Bintulu Hospital in order to set up a laboratory there.
“The support of the whole community towards the Relief Fund had made it possible to achieve the results today,” he said.
Tiong also thanked Senior Minister (Security Custer) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob who arranged for the Royal Malaysian Air Force transport to airlift the cargo to Bintulu this morning.
“Special thanks also to Datuk Francis Yong Piaw Soon, group managing director of Harbour-Link Group Berhad for providing the logistics solutions that ensured a smooth progress for the project,” said Tiong.
Tiong who is also Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president pointed out that Bintulu’s medical and testing equipment must be improved to accommodate its population growth.
“Our service centre recently launched a special laboratory construction fund with a target of RM1.35 million. The gracious community responded enthusiastically by generously contributing to this fund. The fund will go towards purchasing laboratory equipment for a variety of bacterial vaccines and establishing a laboratory for the people of Bintulu, which is expected to begin operations in two weeks,” said Tiong.
He asserted that in addition to detect the novel coronavirus, the ancillary equipment of this robust laboratory can also test more than 40 other types of viruses, further improving and securing Bintulu’s medical care system.
“I must also acknowledge and thank Tan Sri Pheng Yin Huah and Datuk Dr Wong Aik Loung for their generous contributions by specially donating N95 masks and 30 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) to support the front-liners and medical staff in their efforts against the coronavirus infections,” he said.
Tiong said, in order to provide Bintulu residents with better healthcare into the future, it is time for the local people to take a proactive stance and collectively work towards improving the local medical system.
“It is also for the benefit of our children and their children for a better outcome.
Meanwhile, Tiong also advised the people to continue observing the strict standard operating procedures during the CMCO period which will at until June 9.
“Sarawak is now entering the stage to restart the economy. I hope that anyone who is returning to work would strictly abide by the standard operating procedures set by the Sarawak Disaster Management Committee.
“We must all maintain a high degree of vigilance even when we go back to work so that we do not let our past efforts in containing the coronavirus go to waste,” added Tiong.—DayakDaily