New PCR lab to be operational next week

Lee (third right) and others give the thumbs up to the new PCR Lab in Miri Hospital.

MIRI: A new Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) laboratory at the Miri Hospital is expected to be operational next week.

Transport Minister and the minister in charge of the Miri Divisional Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) Datuk Lee Kim Shin said the new PCR lab will enhance the RT-PCR testing in an effort to improve the efficiency of detecting Covid-19 infection at Miri Hospital.

“This new custom-made laboratory costing RM600,000 can accommodate new equipment and allows more lab staff to work simultaneously at one time,” he said after visiting the lab on Friday (April 9).

He said presently, division and sorting of samples are done at separate locations.

“Therefore, the advantage of the new lab is that all the PCR processes will be done here.

“It also provides a conducive environment and is able to increase the daily sample processing capacity to 800 samples per day,” he said.

He added the operation of the new laboratory would be able to overcome the backlog and delays in issuing Covid-19 swab test results conducted throughout the Miri District.

“On behalf of Miri DDMC, we would like to thank the Ministry of Health, Sarawak Health Department and Miri Hospital on the construction of this new lab,” he said.

In March last year, Lee submitted an application for allocation to build a PCR laboratory to conduct RT-PCR test since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While waiting for approval of the allocation, Lee also called on the private sector and the local community to help, and as a result, the private sector, especially Samling Group of Companies donated two PCR machines and two Bio-safety cabinets to the Miri Hospital’s laboratory.