Mass swabbing on the cards

Farhan Julaihi

Conducting mass COVID-19 swab tests is on the cards, Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar announced yesterday.

“The swabbing capacity at the Virology Lab is currently at 8,000 to 10,000 per day. The ones needing to be swabbed are those in close contact with COVID-19 cases and those seeking treatment for an illness,” the minister said.

He added, “As a precautionary measure, we allow volunteers to get swabbed at the drive-through, because we have the capacity to do so.”

“The swabbing capacity and actual number of people needing to be tested are two different things,” the minister said.

“The number of people needing to be swabbed does not reach 8,000 to 10,000 a day, so that explains why the daily number of swab tests conducted is not that high,” he said.

“If the number of contacts is decreasing and we have the capacity to move to certain places, we might target a few areas to conduct mass swabbing. However, as our infection rate is still high, we are prioritising swabbing close contacts.”