State Health Dept explains why Sarawakian returnees need to take Covid-19 test upon arrival from KLIA

Dr Chin explaining the methods used by Kuala Lumpur and Sarawak for screening of Covid-19 during a press conference today (Oct 1, 2020). Screenshot taken from a Sarawak Public Communications Unit (Ukas) livestream.

By Adrian Lim

KUCHING, Oct 1: State Health Department director Dr Chin Zin Hing clarified that Sarawakian returnees were still required to undergo the Covid-19 swab test in Sarawak upon their return through Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) as both parties used different methods of screening for Covid-19.

He asserted that the rapid test kit antigen used in Kuala Lumpur by the Ministry of Health is different compared to the Rapid Test Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test utilised by the State Health Department that provides more accurate results, thus requiring returnees to perform swab tests once more upon their return to the state.

“The method (used in Kuala Lumpur) is rapid test antigen.

“And in Sarawak, we use RT-PCR which are different. The methods are different.

“The results of (rt-antigen) may not be reflective of the actual results and that’s why when they come back, we tested them using RT-PCR,” he said during a press conference today.

He explained that the sensitivity of the rt antigen and RT-PCR were also not the same thus requiring people who arrived into Sarawak to be tested once more.

Dr Chin elaborated that both methods of screening produced different results due to timing of the testing conducted and the incubation period for the virus to be identified thus requiring more sensitivity tests such as the RT-PCR to be conducted twice to determine the accuracy of the test for Covid-19. — DayakDaily