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Coronavirus tests: Where does Malaysia stand?

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Anil Netto looks at where we stand in coronavirus testing.

How are we faring in our testing of suspected cases of coronavirus?

This graph shows where we stand among a selected group of countries of interest. The figures show the number of tests per million people.

Note that countries with more tests tend to be those with higher confirmed cases.

You can see Malaysia lags behind several richer or more developed nations. Perhaps a few of these countries had a headstart or perhaps our testing resources are more limited. South Korea has done 5,600 tests per million people whereas we have done just over 300 tests per million by now. You can see how far behind the US is lagging.

Today Malaysia has reached 900 cases. Are our testing resources going to get overstretched?

How long will it be before our ICU beds are filled up? We have 691 ICU beds in 56 government hospitals nationwide (2017).

We also have 926 ventilators in ICUs, 152 non-invasive ventilators and 142 transport-type ventilators, with the private sector having 450 ventilators. The government is also ordering another 800 ventilators. How long will that take to arrive?

Apart from aid from China, is Asean coming together to pool the resources (specialists, doctors, testing resources, mobile treatment facilities) of its member nations, including getting experts from the region to advise individual member nations?

This is not the time for national pride. Seek expert help if needed, including from local private sector specialists. Don’t be too proud to reach out to other countries for aid and assistance and to learn from their experience.

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Wuhan yesterday bid a heroes’ farewell to thousands of medical personnel from around China after successfully accomplishing their mission of curbing the spread of the coronavirus – without any vaccine.

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