More mass swabbing in the pipeline, says minister

Izah Azahari

More targetted mass swabbing as part of surveillance testing is being planned, said Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar.

“However, the Ministry of Health (MoH) will not be limiting it to once or twice a week. If the Disease Control Division at the Public Health Services finds a site believed to be a hotspot, then the relevant agencies will issue a notice,” he said during the press conference yesterday.

The minister also did not rule out the possibility of conducting mass swabbing at residential areas.

He further explained that mass swabbing is carried out when there are hotspots at certain places. “The term ‘hotspot’ does not necessarily mean a location with many cases, but also where there is a high density of people, such as in dormitories.

“Even if there is only one case, when many people are living in a particular place, it is considered as a hotspot.”

Referring to the first targetted mass swabbing in the Kampong Rimba area on September 18 night, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham commended the workers’ cooperation.

Alhamdulillah, all went smoothly. More than 300 workers were assembled and brought to a swab centre,” he said.

“The level of cooperation was very good, as the shops were closed early. By afternoon, everything was ready and the workers were waiting to be brought to the swab centre.

“Those notified for the next targetted mass swabbing in advance should have everything ready, rather than closing up shop at the last minute.”

The minister also thanked all the involved agencies on duty that night.

A photo circulating on social media shows health officials during the first mass swabbing at a complex in Kampong Rimba