File photo shows Mirimus Inc. lab scientists working to validate rapid IgM/IgG antibody tests of Covid-19 samples from recovered patients in the Brooklyn Borough of New York City. — AFP 

KUCHING: The Ministry of Health refutes the claims stating that the sample testing laboratory for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the Sarawak General Hospital (SGH) here is not functioning.

Health Director-General Datuk Dr Noor Hisham said that he had not received any reports on the issue.

“We have not received any reports stating that the lab is not functioning. If there are problems with the lab, we will be outsourcing it to private labs,” he said when giving the daily update on the nationwide Covid-19 situation in Putrajaya today.

He was responding to claims stating that the lab in SGH was not functioning and that test samples were being carried out in the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) lab.

Dr Noor Hisham also said that the ministry is currently planning to set up two more labs to add on to the number of existing Covid-19 sample-testing labs in Sarawak.

“In Sarawak, we have currently have three labs; the one in SGH, the Unimas lab and the lab in Sibu. We plan to add two more labs in Miri Hospital and Bintulu Hospital,” he added.

Meanwhile, he said two more positive Covid-19 cases were linked to the church cluster, bringing the total number of cases from the cluster to 166.

“Other clusters did not see any increase,” he added.