The COVID-19 outbreak is continuing to spread, with the number of confirmed cases rising both globally, as well as on the Malaysian front. As of this morning at 8am, the number of confirmed cases in Malaysia stands at 50, with 22 patients having already made full recoveries. And with fears over the coronavirus among Malaysians growing, the Malaysian Ministry of Health (MOH) has introduced an online medical consultation portal.
On the portal, you’ll be able to keep up to date with the latest confirmed stats on the outbreak, along with some news and information on COVID-19. Interestingly, there is also a questionnaire that will help you to “assess your risk”—the questions are pretty straightforward, though. You’ll be quizzed to see if you’ve come into contact with anyone who has been infected, or if you’ve travelled to any of the hot spots for novel coronavirus, along with some questions on symptoms.
At the end of the quiz, you’ll also be given a full assessment based on your answers—basically, if your answers have included any risk factors for infection, such as age, symptoms, contact with those infected, and so on.
That isn’t the “consultation” referred to in the title of this article, however. Between 8.30am–5pm, you can request for a consultation with a “MOH Specialist”. All you need to do is to scroll down, click on “Ask Doctor”, and you’ll then be asked to create an account. Once that’s done, you’ll then have the option to chat with a doctor online about your symptoms, or have your consultation over the phone. There’s also the option to have a video call consultation—and all of the options are free.
And if you’re in the mood to do a little background checking, the names of the doctors on duty are listed as well. Do note that you won’t actually have a choice of doctor—but still, it’s a good move by the MoH in the interest of accountability. You’ll even be able to see the doctors’ specialities and years of experience.
We’re told that you’ll get a phone call consultation within 30 minutes of your request, although there isn’t anything that guarantees this in the portal. It’s also important to remember that as the consultations are handled by actual doctors, waiting time may also vary based on the number of requests being handled.
If you feel the onset of symptoms that are consistent with the COVID-19 coronavirus, remember to head to your doctor for further examination. The online portal does not handle emergency cases, and there is also a footnote that states that you should call 999 in cases of emergency. Additionally, the portal only handles matters related to the novel coronavirus.
As always, preventive measures should also be practised—especially with the outbreak growing in numbers. According to the portal, remember to wear a face mask in crowded places, wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap, avoid crowded places, and remember to cover your mouth when coughing. In general, you should also avoid touching wild animals and sick people as well.
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