Coronavirus in Malaysia: What You Need to Know

Recognizing COVID-19 symptoms

Symptoms of Covid-19
Gathering info from reputable sources such as WHO and CDC, Business Insider has a helpful chart that lists out the symptoms of COVID-19 versus common cold, flu and allergies.Image credit: Business Insider 

You may or may not have any symptoms! That's the take-home message as far as the coronavirus symptoms are concerned. The real danger is you will be innocently transmitting the virus to others without you actually knowing it.

This is especially important if you’re staying with your parents or your grandparents. WHO currently constitutes high-risk individuals as those with pre-existing medical conditions and elderly persons over the age of 60.

It’s also important to get yourself tested if you know for sure that you’ve been in close contact with any confirmed cases.

You can also keep up-to-date on new cases with the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) official Twitter page.

Where to go if you suspect you have COVID-19 in Malaysia?

If you’re worried you may have contracted the virus, most of the government-run public hospitals are equipped to screen and admit COVID-19 patients. Do take note that most of the public hospitals do provide screening but only 27 of them are admitting and managing confirmed cases.

Currently, 27 hospitals in Malaysia are admitting confirmed cases. You can see the full list of hospitals compiled by the MoH below:
  1. Hospital Sungai Buloh 
  2. Hospital Kuala Lumpur 
  3. Pusat Perubatan Universiti Malaya (PPUM)
  4. Hospital Tuanku Fauziah, Kangar
  5. Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah, Alor Setar
  6. Hospital Sultanah Maliha, Langkawi 
  7. Hospital Pulau Pinang 
  8. Hospital Raja Permaisuri Bainun, Ipoh 
  9. Hospital Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban
  10. Hospital Melaka 
  11. Hospital Sultanah Aminah, Johor Bahru 
  12. Hospital Tengku Ampuan Afzan, Kuantan 
  13. Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah, Kuala Terengganu 
  14. Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II, Kota Bharu 
  15. Hospital Sultan Ismail Petra, Kuala Krai 
  16. Hospital Tumpat 
  17. Hospital Queen Elizabeth I, Kota Kinabalu 
  18. Hospital Duchess Of Kent, Sandakan 
  19. Hospital Tawau 
  20. Hospital Wanita dan Kanakkanak, Likas 
  21. Hospital Lahad Datu
  22. Hospital Keningau
  23. Hospital Umum Sarawak, Kuching
  24. Hospital Miri
  25. Hospital Bintulu
  26. Hospital Sibu
  27. Hospital Labuan

Where can you get tested for Covid-19 in Malaysia?

Getting yourself screened for Covid-19 isn’t something that can be done at any healthcare provider. Currently, the Ministry of Health has 59 designated hospitals across Malaysia for Covid-19 screening, with 27 hospitals that will admit you if you are fall within certain criteria.

Here’s where things get a little confusing. Before you’re classified as a “case”, which basically means that you’re infected, you’ll first be classified as either a sporadic case, PUI (Patient Under Investigation), or a contact. Contacts would include those that have had close contact with an infected individual, while an individual who is displaying symptoms and has recently been to impacted countries.

Only those that are classified as the above will be screened for the Covid-19 infection. It’s also worth noting that contact with an infected individual only refers to close contact — this is because transmission of the disease is via droplets, as opposed to the coronavirus being airborne. Once a patient is screened, he is then put into quarantine: Self-quarantine if asymptomatic, hospital quarantine if symptoms are present.

This is the official list of designated hospitals by the Health Ministry for Covid-19 screening and admission.

The Malay Mail has reached out to Hospital Sungai Buloh to find out the price of a Covid-19 test, with a representative saying that eligible patients will have to pay RM1 for the test. Students who bring proof from their educational institutions will not be charged.

If you do not fulfil the criteria to undergo Covid-19 screening, but you still want to take the test to be sure, you’ll need to head down the private provider path. There are 11 private companies who have collaborated with the Health ministry to provide home test sampling services:

  • 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
  • Pantai Hospital Ayer Keroh, Melaka.
However, it’s worth noting that the private home screening process will cost around RM700, plus travel costs, as reported by FMT. According to Vulcan Post, you’ll only get your results 24 hours after collection of your sample. And if you aren’t quite sure if you meet the criteria, there is an online medical consultation portal that will gauge your risk factors: age, whether you’ve travelled recently, symptoms, and so on. There’s also a home-test kit from MyEG that will supposedly give you results in 30 minutes — but that is not currently available, with the provider still awaiting MoH approval.

You’ll be admitted as a Patient Under Investigation (PUI) if you qualify for screening. And depending on your symptoms, you’ll be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days if you’re not at risk. If you’re confirmed to have COVID-19, you’ll be admitted to quarantine centres at the nearest of the 26 hospitals.

On 12th March 2020, The Star reported that IHH Healthcare – Asia’s largest group of private hospitals – are now rolling out on-demand home testing services for COVID-19. This allows public hospitals to prioritise treating confirmed cases while those paranoid about contracting the virus – but don’t meet the conditions to get tested at public hospitals – can get screened too.

Participating hospitals include Gleneagles and Pantai Hospitals in Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, which offer home screenings for those who don’t meet the PUI criteria or have no travel history to places with outbreaks.

Prices are quoted upon appointment, as location will be taken into account with medical officers showing up at your home or office to take samples from you. And you’ll be glad to know that Pantai Hospitals in Ipoh are already offering appointment-base drive-through services to lessen costs and speed up testing processes, with the same services underway in Penang.

Check if your Medical insurance covers Coronavirus treatment in Malaysia

With WHO declaring COVID-19 a pandemic, you’ll be glad to know that insurance companies in Malaysia will cover pre-hospitalisation, hospitalisation, and post-hospitalisation costs, and will even have compassionate benefits for those affected by the virus.

This includes common insurance companies such as Tokio MarinePrudential, and AmMetLife, all of which have released statements saying that they will be covering COVID-19 cases if you have an insurance plan with them with no additional charges. 



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