Testing delays worsen situation

File photo: A frontliner preparing the equipment needed for the mass screening in Sibu Jaya.

KUCHING: Sibu Hospital currently has a Covid-19 testing capacity of 500 tests per day, said Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Bawang Assan branch chairman Senator Robert Lau.

He said the hospital is still short of conducting the remaining 800 test, and thus, the samples have to be sent to Kuching or Kuala Lumpur.

“There is a delay of two days to a week if the tests were sent to Kuala Lumpur,” he said in a live session with doctors hosted by Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) chairman Clarence Ting on Facebook today (Feb 9).

He said the delay in revealing of test results contributes to the spread of the disease as those waiting for their results may continue to move around.

“So the best way to prevent the spread of Covid-19 is by wearing a face mask when going out and practising physical distancing,” he said.

Lau said Sarawak should learn from countries like Vietnam, Taiwan and Singapore on how they have managed to control the spread of the disease.

“I want to use the analogy of a fire, except this (Covid-19) is an invisible fire. So how do we fight it?

“The best way to prevent the fire from happening or spreading is by wearing a face mask and practising physical distancing,” he said.

He added that to fight the fire is to identify where the fire occurred and in the case of Covid-19, the invisible fire can be detected by constantly carrying out testing.

“Therefore, the sooner the test is done to identify where the fire is, the better. And those who are tested positive will then be isolated — to put out the fire and stop it from spreading,” he stressed.