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Malaysian tech firm to develop 3D printed nasal swabs

A Malaysian electronic computer manufacturing company recently announced that the nasal swabs it intends to manufacture are to be marketed in Malaysia, subject to getting the requisite approval from the authorities.

In a bourse filing on 12 May 2020, the company said it expects to obtain approval from the Medical Device Authority under the Ministry of Health, as well as targeted overseas markets that have a high demand for such products.

It was noted that these include potentially the US, Europe and ASEAN countries subject to the necessary approvals of the authorities in the respective countries.

On 6 May 2020, the tech firm announced that it was venturing into the manufacturing of nasal swabs that are used to collect fluid specimens from the back of the nasal cavity.

The nasal swab is then placed into a vial that contains a culture medium before it is transported to a laboratory for testing of Covid-19.

Nasal swabs are typically manufactured using injection moulding and flocking, which includes tufts of polyester material attached to the end of a plastic shaft.

The company believes that the Covid-19 pandemic is causing an overdrive in demand for nasal swabs, which has impacted supply.

The firm stated that it had placed an order with a reputable US-based 3D printing technology developer and manufacturer to supply 3D printers for 3D printing the nasal swabs.

Local start-up steps up protection measures for workers

In other developments, a Malaysian IT service management company announced that it will begin offering a one-stop portal for employers in Malaysia to manage requirements related to Covid-19 screening for their workforce.

In a statement, the firm stated that employees, including foreign workers, who are contributors to the Social Security Organisation (Socso) are eligible to have the cost of testing covered by Socso’s Prihatin Screening Programme.

The firm’s portal is an option for companies that wish to streamline the process of getting workers tested, providing employers with the necessary tools to register and receive confirmation of the eligibility of their workforce for the Prihatin Screening Programme.

At the same time, through a partnership with a panel of Socso registered clinics, the firm will also arrange for screening to be conducted on-site at employers’ premises by trained medical practitioners adhering fully to Ministry of Health guidelines. For workers not covered by the Prihatin Screening Programme, the cost of testing can be paid out-of-pocket.

Upon completion of the screening under the specified guidelines, individuals will be issued with a digital certificate by the firm in the form of a dynamic QR colour code on a mobile application indicating their test status for verification.

The digital certificate will be recognised by the Department of Labour as proof of testing.

Employers with workers who have already undergone screening are encouraged to voluntarily declare their status on MyEG’s portal.

The self-declaration is important to enable the firm to better assist the Ministry of Human Resources in updating the testing status of workers in the country.

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