Auxiliary National Virology Reference Laboratory opens

Rokiah Mahmud

The Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday marked the official opening of an auxiliary National Virology Reference Laboratory under the Department of Laboratory Services, located in Kampong Sumbiling.

All molecular tests for COVID-19 will be specified and carried out at the new laboratory, which will also function as a Molecular Diagnostic Unit for respiratory-related illnesses.

Following the recitation of a Doa Selamat, the keys to the building were presented to Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar by LSL Sdn Bhd Director Dato Paduka Haji Ahmad bin Kadi.

The minister then handed the keys to Acting Director of Laboratory Services Dr Hajah Surita binti Haji Mohd Taib, before touring the newly-built facility.

Incorporating four main rooms – the Sample Reception Lab, Sample Processing Lab, Reagent Ready Lab (extraction) and Amplification Lab – the laboratory is also equipped with safety features, for the benefit of the officers and staff members on duty.

In an interview, Head of National Virology Reference Laboratory Dr Zainun binti Zaini explained that 26 personnel have already been selected for placement and training in different areas at the facility.

“The samples will be tested in batches; about 240 samples can be processed in one day, which is six batches,” she added.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar is briefed at the auxiliary National Virology Reference Laboratory. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR