Tiong: New public lab will boost effort to fight Covid-19 pandemic

Tiong inspecting Bintulu’s RM3 mil new public laboratory located next to Bintulu Polyclinic which is expected be completed soon.

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KUCHING, Feb 18: With the completion of a RM3 million public laboratory next to Bintulu Polyclinic soon, Bintulu will have two of such facilities to cater for the increasing needs of the people in the division in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic.

Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said, part of the cost of the facility would be raised from the public.

“I hope that members of the public from all walks of life would generously donate to this project which can improve our lives and health.

“With the Bintulu Health Department tirelessly testing and identifying positive cases of Covid-19 to close the gaps, the previously set up testing lab (in the Bintulu Hospital) has become overwhelmed and resulting in some cases being referred to other districts for testing.

“These tests are time-consuming and the long travel between test facilities add to the time needed to complete testing,” Tiong said in a statement issued here today.

He stressed that once confirmed cases were detected in an area, mass screening procedures were implemented to contain the outbreaks.

“This has added to a large number of test samples in recent days and made it necessary to outsource testing to other facilities.

“So, I sincerely urge all to contribute to building a larger laboratory to give Bintulu more room for testing cases. I wish to also thank the Bintulu Development Authority (BDA) for granting the land adjacent to the hospital.

Hawkers’ jungle produce being bought over by government agencies in areas affected by EMCO in Bintulu

“The goal is also to introduce seven units of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing machines and their corresponding auxiliary equipment for the new comprehensive laboratory.

“Such a lab would go a long way to keeping Bintulu safe. Anyone who is interested to donate may contact the Bintulu MP’s Service Centre. We all salute and thank you for your contribution,” said Tiong.

On another issue, Tiong who is also Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) president, hit out at Tanjung Batu Assemblyman Chiew Chiu Sing for snubbing such effort to get the second laboratory.

“I have explained numerous times that the current testing machines are insufficient to meet the demand for more tests. Even then Tanjung Batu assemblyman does not seem to grasp the concept. The Health Department is stretched thin having to collect up to a thousand samples on their active case detection screenings.

“And even with the help of technology, the medical staff on duty are already doing extra to help analyse the test samples. At the same time, the existing PCR test machines at Bintulu Hospital also need to serve other neighbouring districts, which severely overwhelms the system.

“Does Chiew lack the basic sense to know the limitations of having just these two machines to serve a large swath of area?” asked Tiong.

At the same time, Tiong also invited Chew to follow him on his trips to the outbreak areas to check on the situation instead of wasting his time criticising.

“Let’s understand the situation and work together to reduce infections.

Meanwhile, Tiong also criticised Chiew for continuing harping on the local hawkers’ issue which has been solved with their products being bought by the relevant authorities.

“The proof is that the hawkers’ produce has been bought over by the relevant authorities especially in areas affected by Enforced Movement Control Order (EMCO),” said Tiong. -DayakDaily