Malaysia lifting up MCO 'lock-down'?: A right but dangerous decision.

It was announced last Friday that Malaysia will be lifting up the Movement Control Order (MCO) or Restriction Movement Order (RMO) to prevent this country's economy from further collapsing into dust. Many netizens did not agree on the decision and start petitioning for the lift to be canceled immediately. 
I believe it was not the best move by the government but it is necessary. There is no point in prolonging this 'lock-down' measure if we know that the virus will not be easily removed or eliminated. The government should have opened up the economy earlier, but to some, this is rather too radical and dangerous. Many forget the reason for the order to be implemented - to relieve the burden of our healthcare system.

When the tabligh cluster emerges somewhere in early March, it was a necessary move to implement the lockdown due to our late containment of the attendees, and the huge number of people attending that event. There were no other measures as effective as the movem…

So much that we did not know on COVID-19.

I just finished attending a webinar about COVID-19. Webinar involved two prominent figures in fighting COVID-19. A top virologist and a top infectious disease in Malaysia.

It was an amazing webinar. However, I can conclude that there were a lot of things that we did not understand concerning this new pandemic. A lot of things that did not go as we predicted. With our common knowledge on SARS and MERS-CoV, we thought that we have enough to prepare, to found out that the virus did not behave as it should.

We can't control nature. We can't control how the virus wants to act. What we can do is just damage control. To limit the infection, and to reduce the mortality.

However, knowing that there were teams of a distinguished person investigating this virus, give us a bit of reassurance. There is so much that we understand within a short period of time since December. Thanks to those amazing scientists, and also the technology that happens to be evolved enough for us to use.

The futu…

Covid-19. A battle that will be lost..

Have we ever won a battle between human and microorganism? Since the beginning of time, we were always a colonizer in this planet. Bacteria, virus, and all the simple organism have been living in this world longer than us. As more complex organism developed, the first thing that we do to survive in this world full of microorganism was to prepare ourselves to fight them. Our immune system was created or evolved specifically to fight this indigenous inhabitant of planet earth.

If we look back to the previous pandemics, can we count how many time we have won against the pathogen? The pandemic ended, but do we claim the victory? Let us look to the recent MERS-Cov epidemic. It started in the Saudi Arabia in 2012. Since then, 858 deaths has been reported comprising of 35% from 2494 patients infected. Up until today, there are still a few sporadic cases have been reported(or non reported) but they only happen in the middle east. Can we claim victorious from this epidemic? We manage to contro…

Why So many backlogged in Covid-19 test?

1. Because there are too many samples to be processed in a day. Not only the new case sample, but the lab also received repeat samples from inpatient and previous negative patients. If there are 1000 negative samples within 2 previous weeks, then there will be 1000 samples already booked to be processed this week. Unless decided that the person does not require repeated samples (asymptomatic, low-risk patients).

2. WHO recommends using 2 gene detection for Covid-19. If other labs use different gene then it will be much difficult. As far as I know, most labs in Malaysia use the same genes / similar genes detection. So this would make things much easier. Back to the 2 genes detection part, if one gene is detected and the other not detected, then how to interpret it? It will require repeat testing in such situation. As COVID-19 is a very new virus, and we understand only that much, it is better to repeat the test rather than make assumptions.

Our lab, for example, use E gene detection an…

Stay At Home

Stay at Home to prevent Covid-19 transmission.


I need to post something to get away from my thought block. It has been like 2 months which I did not have any idea on what to write. This apply to all my blogs and also my work. I have a manuscript to finish and another 2 case reports to complete. Yet, every time I grab my keyboard....nothing.

I guess my post here is will help my writer's brain kick start again.

Perhaps because of my new baby girl , born 26 June 2019. After the new addition in our family, I stopped writing. Always busy trying to do something else. To my surprise, I did pick up my guitar back and start learning new song in that time period. Thus, my brain see more abstract thing, the music, the art, not the numbers or fact.

Other than that, nothing much happen.

I have to set a dateline of task that I need to do. The first one is to write a post on Syndromic approach which now have replace most of the traditional microbiology method. At one point of time, my friends and I start addressing ourselves as a traditional…

Shouldn't treat catheter colonizer

Every day we encounter cases of catheter-related bloodstream infection. With the increasing incidence of Diabetes leading to renal failure, more and more people are going for dialysis. More people in dialysis, more catheter was inserted for the purpose of that. 
Using venous catheter for dialysis came with a risk which is - infection. The catheter is one the favorite place for bacteria to hang out. Produce their biofilm and just stay there forever. You flush it, you wipe it with alcohol, whatever you do, it will not move away easily. 
Then came the decision of attacking them with antibiotics and this is where everything goes wrong. 
To diagnose catheter-related infection, the best method is to quantify the growth from the catheter. Catheter tip culture usually will tell us whether a patient has a catheter-related infection or not. It's difficult to do and labor intensive. Thus, a semiquantitative approach was developed. This method was much easier to do. Just culture the tip of th…