Rep: All Sarawak major hospitals must have PCR machines


SIBU: It is worrying to note that Sarawak has a high Covid-19 mortality rate in Malaysia.

In stating this, Bukit Assek assemblywoman Irene Chang said the state government and the Health Ministry would have to look into the operations of Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) to ascertain if the problem arose from the tests that might have given false negatives, and which had resulted in some people being released to become asymptomatic spreaders.

“Taking the example of Jackie Wong’s case when he was diagnosed as being positive again, despite having a negative result from an earlier test – I understand that the positive result came from the test being carried out in Sibu Hospital whereas the negative test result came from a sample that was sent to Kuching.

“The question would arise whether it was because of the time taken to send the sample to Kuching from Sibu that had caused the inaccuracy.

“If that’s the case, then both the Health Ministry and the state government must ensure that all major hospitals in Sarawak should be equipped with a PCR (polymerase chain reaction) machine each to enable tests to be done at the site,” she said when contacted yesterday.

Chang said with Sibu Hospital now having the machine, she urged the government to also equip Miri Hospital in order to serve the people in the northern region better.

“Even though Miri is still in the yellow zone, actions have to be taken now before things become more serious.

“It is good that Sibu, too, is still in the yellow zone.

“However, I urge all the people here to continue working together with the authorities and medical officers to enable us to prevent Sibu from progressing to the red zone.”

In the latest directive to open certain shops periodically, Chang said the enforcement would need to be stringent in ensuring that social distancing and basic hygiene would be observed strictly.

She said although those involved might feel relieved that their business could open after being closed for more than two weeks, all shop operators in Sibu must ensure that their customers would observe social distancing and that only a certain number of customers would be allowed to be in the shop at any one time.