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BINTULU, Feb 19 ― The construction of a new RM3 million Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory near Bintulu Polyclinic is close to completion, and the extra equipment will alleviate the stress on the current laboratory, says Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing.
He said the second laboratory was really needed in order to speed up the testing of samples as the existing testing machines are insufficient to meet the demand for more tests.
“The Health Department is stretched thin having to collect up to a thousand samples on their active case detection screenings.
“Even with the help of technology, the health staff on duty are already doing extra to help analyse the test samples.
“The existing PCR test machines are also needed to serve neighbouring districts, which severely overwhelms the system,” he said in a statement yesterday.
With the Health Department here tirelessly testing and identifying positive Covid-19 cases to close the gaps, he said the previously set up testing lab had been overwhelmed, and resulting in some cases being referred to other districts for testing.
Tiong said these tests are time-consuming and the long travel between test facilities add to the time needed to complete testing.
“Once confirmed cases were detected in an area, mass screening procedures were implemented to contain the outbreak. This has added to a large number of test samples in recent days and made it necessary to outsource testing to other facilities,” he added.
On the setting up of the two testing laboratories here, he said they were borne by public donations remitted directly to the suppliers.
“Our fight against the pandemic is also supported by many private companies. After all, the fight against further outbreaks is faced by the government and the people alike,” he said. ― Borneo Post