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COVID health protocol updated

James Kon

Positive cases of COVID-19 are told to not carry out antigen rapid test (ART) daily, as the requirement now only calls for ART test to be conducted on the first and sixth day. The simplified health protocol was announced by Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar at the daily press conference yesterday.

“Only one positive ART is required as a confirmation for a COVID-19 case, and when a positive ART result is uploaded to the BruHealth app, it counts as Day 1,” the minister said.
He added that those who test negative on the sixth day will be confirmed as recovered from COVID-19 and allowed to end the self-isolation period once the BruHealth code turns green.

“However, if the ART result is still positive on Day 6, they can opt to repeat the ART on the next day and the following days until the result is negative,” he said.

However, the minister said, “If the ART result remains positive on Day 10, they will be confirmed as recovered and allowed to end the self-isolation on Day 11 automatically. The public is advised to use ART kits approved by the Ministry of Health and to use them correctly.”

According to the latest COVID-19 positive health protocol, cases are required to immediately isolate at home, followed by reporting the positive ART to the BruHealth app. Once the BruHealth code turns purple on the first day, cases need to inform close contacts to undergo home isolation.

Positive COVID-19 cases will receive a notification which requires them to answer questions to determine the category of infection via BruHealth. If eligible, a home isolation notice (HIN) will be issued through the app, and if not, the Emergency Medical Ambulance Services (EMAS) will be contacting the positive cases for further questions.

COVID-19 cases are also required to perform daily health reports in the HIN feature until they are discharged.

Meanwhile, the health protocol for close contacts remain the same with them needing to isolate immediately and declare as close contact in the BruHealth app through the ART feature. After this, the BruHealth code will turn red on Day 1.

If close contacts test negative on Day 1, they must repeat ART and report to BruHealth on Day 5. If they remain negative, they can be discharged on the next day when the BruHealth code turns green.

Public Health Consultant and Head of the Disease Control Division at the MoH Dr Justin Wong said, “The most important part of this health protocol is that you only need one ART test to confirm positive or not, and only one ART is needed to be discharged. Previously, several tests were needed to confirm the results. Now only one ART result is needed.”

On the changing of the BruHealth colour code, he said “do not expect an immedate change. The code will change to green around midnight and the case will be free to go out the
next day”.

Dr Justin added that those currently COVID-positive must adhere to the latest health protocol.

Infectious Diseases Consultant at the MoH Dr Hajah Riamiza Natalie binti Haji Momin added that the latest health protocol is also practised in several countries including in the region.

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