Are We Not Doing Enough Test?
Lately, certain quarters have been vocal in criticising MOH for allegedly not doing enough tests to detect and contain the COVID-19 spread, particularly during the recent three-day Chinese New Year (CNY) public holiday and weekend. As 23 private labs make up 66.7 % of the national COVID-19 maximum RT PCR testing capacity (51,208 out of 76,805 RT PCR tests per day), understandably, many were not operating at total capacity or received fewer samples over the CNY weekend.
MOH tracks the quantity and results of COVID-19 testing via our SIMKA (Sistem Informasi Makmal Kesihatan Awam) system. The number of individuals tested and the number of cases tested positive or negative for COVID-19 is reported daily by the respective public and private labs.
As a general benchmark of a healthcare system that's doing enough testing to pick up all COVID-19 cases, the World Health Organization recommends countries test at the level of ten negative tests to one positive. (Source: WHO, 30 March 2020). It is a guiding principle that you would want a low percentage of tests to come back positive, around 10% or even lower.
On 15 February 2021, we reported 2,176 positive COVID-19 cases. Did we had inadequate testing? The total RT PCR and RTK Ag tests done was 41,895 tests, which was more than the 10% (i.e. 21,760 tests) benchmark. Hence, our daily testing on 15 February of 41,895 was almost twice as much and more than enough, despite reduced tests done in private and other non-MOH labs.
Rujuk : FB Ketua Pengarah Kesihatan KKM