IMR ready to share health research expertise
Published on: Thursday, February 27, 2020
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KUALA LUMPUR: The Institute for Medical Research, Malaysia (IMR) is open to assist any country which needs its expertise in health research.

IMR Director Dr Tahir Aris said the 120-year-old institute has various expertise including conducting Covid-19 confirmation tests.

 “...we are prepared to assist if there are countries which needed assistance in terms of laboratory facilities,” he told reporters after an IMR media briefing on the process and procedure to detect Covid-19 at the institute.

Dr Tahir said IMR would be cooperating with Singapore’s Health Ministry in research, clinical management and patient treatment especially to combat Covid-19.             

With a staff strength of 800, IMR which began as an institute to provide pathology services to the country, went on to conduct biomedical research as well as becoming part of the National Health Institute. 

He said IMR was also prepared to face any virus attacks apart from Covid-19.

 “Our laboratory preparedness included the capacity to detect most virus outbreak such as Ebola, yellow fever, Marburg virus and West Nile virus,” he said.

Earlier, in the first session briefing, IMR Infectious Disease Research Centre (IDRC) head Dr Norazah Ahmad spoke on IMR facilities while the second session on Covid-19 process and procedure was conducted by IMR IDRC virology unit head Dr T Ravindran.    

According to Dr Ravidran, the test developed at IMR was used to confirm four Covid-19 cases.

 “A comparison on the test developed by IMR and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Covid-19 showed the similar results.

 “Since then, IMR has been using WHO test as the primary test for infection and the IMR method as a back up,” he said.

Dr Ravindran said IMR is able detect Covid-19 virus in five to six hours only.

Apart from laboratory process and virus detection, IMR had also carried out Covid-19 clinical sample test method at 12 hospitals all over the country as well as five public health laboratories and four laboratories in Sabah, Johor, Perak and Kelantan.

“However, the results of the tests conducted at other laboratories would be monitored by IMR,” he said. – Bernama


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