Dr Loo Liat Hui, Senior Principal Medical Laboratory Scientist, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, KKH
The day we processed the first COVID-19 sample, it was all in a day’s work for the team at the Molecular Microbiology Laboratory.
Our primary mission is to run laboratory tests for SARS Coronavirus 2, which is responsible for COVID-19. During these months of increased and urgent need for testing, the Molecular Microbiology Laboratory operates 13 to 15 hours daily, including weekends and public holidays.
Test results arrive in batches from various sources throughout the day, and must be processed urgently.
To cope with the high work load and urgency, our team of staff and volunteers are all hands on deck. We practise safe distancing, universal masking precautions, and don personal protective equipment when processing potentially infectious samples.
We weathered the SARS outbreak in 2003 and Swine Flu in 2009, but this outbreak is different, and it is more long drawn.
Keeping up with the workload and safe distancing measures has meant that healthcare workers don’t get to see our family members and teammates as often, and social interaction is greatly limited. These are small sacrifices that we are prepared to make, for the safety of all during this period of time.