In Penang, nine asymptomatic Covid-19 cases found as mass screening starts

Healthcare workers collect swab samples to test for Covid-19 at the City Stadium in George Town July 5, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Healthcare workers collect swab samples to test for Covid-19 at the City Stadium in George Town July 5, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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GEORGE TOWN, July 6 — The first day of the Penang Covid-19 Mass Screening (PSC19) programme at the City Stadium yesterday uncovered nine asymptomatic Covid-19 cases, said state exco Jagdeep Singh Deo.

The local government, housing and town and country planning committee chairman said a total of 430 people were screened yesterday using the Antigen rapid test kits (RTK-Ag).

He said the nine who tested positive were immediately isolated and placed in quarantine as advised by the state health department.

“All of the nine cases do not have any symptoms and as per our objective, they have been isolated and undergoing a PCR test so that these nine cases will not spread to 90 cases or 900 cases,” he said.

He said that while the target had been to screen over 500 people yesterday, reaching 430 tests was still an achievement.

He said anyone could register for the screening that was free as it was fully funded by the state government.

“Next, we will be conducting the screening tests in two areas in Seberang Perai, at the Sony Sports and Recreational Complex in Seberang Jaya and at the Dewan Besar Sungai Dua,” he said.

He said the mass screening in Seberang Perai will be for two days and is open for everyone in Seberang Perai, Permatang Berangan and Sungai Dua.

“Anyone can register for the free screening test and like yesterday, there were even people from Seberang Perai who went for the screening, we will not turn anyone away,” he said.

After Seberang Perai, Jagdeep said the next mass screening will be on the island, possibly in the Paya Terubong constituency, depending on the location of the clusters on the island.

He said the mass screening will be held at different constituencies so that everyone in different constituencies will be able to register and go for testing.

The state government launched the PSC19 yesterday with a target of screening 40,000 people in 40 constituencies.

Those interested may register for the PSC19 programme here.

Penang Island City Council (MBPP) Mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said mass screening was an important process while the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme was ongoing.

He hoped that PCR test kits would become more accessible and affordable so that more people could be screened.

“If PCR self testing is more readily available and affordable, everyone can take the test and get a green pass so that they can go ahead with normal social and economic activities while those who are positive can be isolated,” he said.

He said if PCR self test kits were available at cheap prices in the market, everyone can voluntarily take the tests and show their negative results to continue on with normal social and economic activities.

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