Dr Sim: Testing vaccinated Covid-19 patients using PCR, ART allows faster turnaround time

Dr Sim Kui Hian. File Photo

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Sept 15: The new policy adopted by the State government to test symptomatic Covid-19 patients who have been vaccinated using a combination of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Antigen Rapid Test (ART) is to reduce the burden on laboratories and allow a faster turnaround time to have meaningful impact on the rising number of cases, says Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

Dr Sim, who is the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) advisor said the decision to test symptomatic patients comes on top of isolating those who are close contacts and only testing them when they became symptomatic.

He added the State’s Covid-19 testing capacity is 6,500 per day but the utility will be lost if it takes more than three days before the results are known.

Dr Sim who is also Minister for Local Government and Housing explained that screening symptomatic Covid-19 cases will bring the test rate to 500 cases per day for a total of 2,000 total cases per day. He said 20 per cent out of 100 Covid-19 patients will be symptomatic, while 0.3 per cent will be in severe category and 0.1 per cent deaths.

“This innovative regime of testing is to conserve precious resources to identify the sick cases earlier.

“Resources then will be used to monitor positive patients to recognise any deterioration quickly,” he said.

He explained that the decision to test symptomatic Covid-19 patients who have been vaccinated is based on the assumption that everyone is infectious and self-isolating for three days during the virus incubation period, and taking into account the need for a separate healthcare system to find and treat Covid-19 infections. — DayakDaily