Coronavirus disease 2019, also known as COVID-19, is a contagious disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Although the exact origin of the virus is still unknown, the first outbreak started in Wuhan, China in late-2019. The disease has since spread worldwide, leading to an ongoing pandemic.

Based on the World Health Organization (WHO), COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalisation.

Most common symptoms:

  • fever
  • dry cough
  • tiredness

Less common symptoms:

  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • diarrhoea
  • conjunctivitis
  • headache
  • loss of taste or smell
  • a rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes

Serious symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • chest pain or pressure
  • loss of speech or movement

On average, it takes between 5 to 6 days for symptoms to show once a person is infected. Some may take as long as 14 days to develop symptoms.

Transmission of COVID-19 occurs through droplets and can happen through:

  1. Coughing and sneezing
  2. Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  3. Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

Preliminary studies suggest that incubation period for COVID-19 can range from 2 to 14 days, with the mean at 5.2 days.

There are reports of asymptomatic infections (detection of virus with no development of symptoms) and pre-symptomatic infections (detection of virus prior to development of symptoms) with SARS-CoV-2. Scientists have estimated that each infected person can spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.

Infected persons have been found to be most infectious in the first week of developing symptoms as viral levels in respiratory secretions are at their highest.

In terms of viral viability, SARS-CoV-2 was more stable on plastic and stainless steel than on copper and cardboard, and viable virus was detected up to 72 hours after application to these surfaces. On copper, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 4 hours; while on cardboard, no viable SARS-CoV-2 was measured after 24 hours.

Precautionary measures are important to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection, these include:

  • Practice physical distancing (1–2 metres apart)
  • Wash your hands often with water and soap; or clean with 60%–70% alcohol-based sanitiser
  • Wear protective mask*

*It is recommended to wear a face mask if you are ill, even at home, to reduce spread of germs and protect others from getting infected. A proper surgical or medical face mask consists of 3 layers, with each serving specific functions:

  1. An outer layer which is hydrophobic or is a fluid-repelling layer
  2. A middle layer that is designed to filter germs
  3. An inner layer to absorb moisture, as the air we breathe out contains moisture

It is crucial to to put on a face mask correctly. The function of the blue or coloured layer (which is supposed to be facing out) is to prevent germs from sticking onto the face mask. If you wear the mask inside out, the moisture from the air will stick onto it, resulting in germs sticking to the mask as well. When you breathe in, the germs will transfer from the outside layer and straight into your lungs.

Diagnosis

There are 3 ways COVID-19 can be diagnosed: real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Antigen Rapid Test Kit (RTK-Ag) and Antibody Rapid Test Kit (RTK-Ig). The Bluee Hub offers the first 2 methods only.

FAQ

Our lab partners are constantly updating the equipment and kits to ensure new COVID-19 viral variants are being detected.

Walk-ins are allowed at our centre in KL Sentral on a limited availability basis.

Please fill up the Health Declaration Form provided by your booking confirmation email and/or WhatsApp.

Avoid heavy meals 2 hours prior to appointment.

You will need to show your NRIC or passport as proof of identity to match your booking details.

All PCR test results will be ready in 24 hours (Express) or 48 hours (Normal), whereas RTK-Ag clearance letter will be available at the end of day. While waiting for results, the individual is advised to self-quarantine.

Results will be officially informed via email.

A positive result in RTK-Ag may require the individual to do a confirmatory PCR test.

If either test result is positive for COVID-19, it will be reported to the Ministry of Health. The individual involved will also be notified by call and an alert / push notification on MySejahtera App with further instructions. The person will be asked to self-quarantine according to current SOP or proceed to a Designated Hospital for COVID-19 for treatment if at risk of developing complications.

TBH is not responsible for providing definite next steps for individuals tested positive.

Once the request is confirmed and payment is made, the mobile team will be arranged to the premise within 1 day for on-site testing.

It usually takes 5 minutes for swab sample collection per person after set-up.

Note that more time is required for on-site sanitisation and wearing and removal of PPE.

There is no difference in the PCR method we use for either Express or Normal categories.

Additional charges applies for the Express category to expedite the result.

As the lab that processes all PCR tests is located in Selangor, samples taken in other states require up to a day of packing and transporting under strict safety guidelines.

Our PCR partner labs have to meet stringent requirements set by the Ministry of Health to ensure accuracy and integrity of results to the public.