Got A Fever? You Still Might Not Be Tested For COVID-19 At Government Hospitals

You have to fulfil at least two criteria before the hospital might run the test on you.

Cover image via Aswadi Alias/New Straits Times & AFP/Malay Mail

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is currently providing COVID-19 testing for free to Malaysians and foreigners alike who are suspected of having the novel coronavirus

However, according to The Star, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham said public hospitals were being swarmed with people wanting to get tested, and many were doing it out of fear.

He reminded that even though people have concerns about being infected with COVID-19, they have to meet criteria of people under investigation (PUI) to not waste resources and to prevent overcrowding of public hospitals.

If you are sick, you have to fulfil these criteria before the hospital might run a free COVID-19 diagnostic test on you:
Fever or acute respiratory infection (sudden onset of respiratory infection with at least one of: shortness of breath, cough, or sore throat), and
- Travel to coronavirus-affected countries in the 14 days before the onset of illness, or
- Be a close contact with someone confirmed in 14 days before illness onset.

However if you do not fulfil the criteria and are still concerned, MOH has collaborated with private health providers to launch a home-based COVID-19 testing service

According to New Straits Times, this service allows those who do not meet the criteria as a PUI to be tested in their homes, to further prevent the spread of infection.

"Qualified doctors and trained staff nurses will carry out the swab test on the individual and send it to the laboratory for analysis and evaluation," said one of the private companies, Pantai Premier Pathology, as quoted by Malay Mail.

"The results of the test will be shared with the individual within 24 hours."

Some companies are charging up to RM700 for a test.

Image via AFP/Malay Mail

Currently, there are 11 private companies involved in providing these COVID-19 home sampling services

The 11 private companies who have collaborated with the MOH are:
- Bookdoc,
- DoctorOnCall,
- Pantai Premier Pathology Sdn Bhd,
- Lablink (M) Sdn Bhd (KPJ),
- Qualitas Medical Group Sdn Bhd,
- Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur,
- Twin Tower Medical Centre KLCC,
- Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur,
- Pantai Hospital Cheras,
- Pantai Hospital Klang, and
- Pantai Hospital Ayer Keroh, Melaka.

If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, here is what else you can do:

Meanwhile, Malaysians are preparing for a lockdown as a surge of COVID-19 cases were reported over the weekend: