Bintulu Hospital to run own Covid-19 PCR tests soon


Dr Davis (third left) is seen with Samling representatives during the handing over ceremony.

BINTULU: Bintulu Hospital will be able to conduct Covid-19 tests once it receives its Real Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) machine by the end of the month.

Samling Group of Companies donated the PCR machine along with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as disposable surgical masks and gloves, hand sanitiser, and thermometers in support of the Sarawak government’s efforts to fight Covid-19.

Bintulu Hospital director Dr Davis Johnraj said currently PCR samples taken here are sent to Kuching daily and the results are only available in around 48 hours.

“The machine will enable us to do the tests in Bintulu itself. For urgently needed results, we can get the results within one to two hours. However, as the test kits need to be imported from the United States, the test kits available will be limited.

“The tests may only be done for cases which need urgent results, especially those who have symptoms and need admission,” he said when commenting on Samling’s donation to the hospital on Tuesday.

Dr Davis pointed out that demand for PPE to protect healthcare workers has increased dramatically due to Covid-19.

“Essential PPE are adequate for the short term. Hospitals are also careful on the use of PPE by ensuring that they are used according to Ministry of Health guidelines so that we don’t run out of supply,” he said.

Samling also contributed medical supplies to clinics in Tatau and Segan.

“Samling will continue to help the communities and medical institutions in Sarawak in light of the outbreak. We are in solidarity with the Sarawak government to help combat Covid-19, which has disrupted the lives of many,” said Samling Group chief executive officer Lawrence Chia in a statement.