Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian

KUCHING: Sarawak’s Covid-19 testing capacity will be increased in preparation for a possible second wave of infections, said Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

He said with the new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machines being brought in and some that have returned from maintenance, the state now has the capacity to test more than 3,500 samples per day.

“Today is the fourth consecutive day of ‘zero’ Covid-19 case in Sarawak. About 1,000 tests are conducted yesterday, part of the 3Ts, which are tracing, testing and treating.

“The reason for no new infections is because of your effort, cooperation, sacrifices and Sarawakian solidarity in the last fourteen days,” he wrote in a Facebook posting yesterday.

Dr Sim however, warned the people no one can predict what will happen in the next seven to fourteen days, with the easing of restrictions to open businesses coupled with those ignoring the standard operating procedures (SOPs) and social distancing.

He also said that while some are plain ignorant, others fall prey to fake news spread by irresponsible parties — one of which questioned the state’s government testing capacity.

“On May 14 and 16, around 1,500 and 1,000 tests were done (respectively) by Sarawak General Hospital (SGH), Miri Hospital and Sibu Hospital.

“We must understand that the capacity to test and number of tests being done is different,” he said.

Dr Sim said besides the new PCR machines at Bintulu Hospital, Sibu Hospital and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) some hospitals aside from SGH also started 24-hour services as part of preparations for the second wave of Covid-19 infections.