COVID-19: Where science meets the headlines

Science Media Centre (SMC) Malaysia is an independent information resource centre aimed at promoting accurate and evidence-based reporting especially on complex or controversial science issues in the media.

As COVID-19 takes centre stage, we help you to better understand the pandemic by bringing you the latest research and expert reactions on the novel coronavirus.

Our Latest

[INNOVATION] Poladrone: Revolutionising Agriculture Industry with Drones, One Flight at a Time

Drones are revolutionising agriculture and it looks like this may be the new future of agricultural produce. With the help of aerial data, drones can provide farmers with digital data to improve efficiency. Enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT), drones help to gather accurate data and relay it back to a cloud server or some other analytics service. Today, the application of drone technology can be seen in oil palm plantations and paddy fields.

[OPINION] Living with COVID-19 – Is Malaysia Ready?

In recent days and weeks there have been statements made about moving from a Covid-19 pandemic state to an endemic phase by the end of October 2021. The argument for this is higher adult vaccination rates that will be achieved nationwide by that time period. So we need to ask this question: Is Malaysia ready to move to an endemic phase by the end of October 2021?

[Q&A] Can Ivermectin treat or prevent Covid-19?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recently urged people not to take Ivermectin to treat or prevent COVID-19. This warning came after it has received multiple reports of patients hospitalised after taking the medication. Science Media Centre Malaysia spoke to University Sains Malaysia’s virologist and immunologist, Dr Leow Chiuan Yee to understand the potential risks of use for prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

[MEDIA RELEASE] A race between vaccination and virus to curb COVID-19 Delta variant

The public needs to be vaccinated as soon as possible to reduce the transmission rate of the more dangerous COVID-19 variants, said the former Health Ministry’s National Advisor for Infectious Diseases, Datuk Dr Christopher Lee. Describing the current situation as a “race between vaccination and virus,” he said, the best way to reduce the rate of COVID-19 virus mutation in the community was through vaccination.

[KENYATAAN MEDIA] ‘Perlumbaan antara vaksin dan virus’ bagi mengekang varian Delta COVID-19

Orang ramai perlu divaksin secepat mungkin bagi mengurangkan kadar penularan varian-varian COVID-19 yang lebih berbahaya, demikian saranan bekas Penasihat Kebangsaan Penyakit Berjangkit Kementerian Kesihatan Malaysia, Datuk Dr Christopher Lee. Sambil menyifatkan situasi sekarang sebagai “perlumbaan antara vaksin dan virus” ujar beliau, cara terbaik untuk mengurangkan kadar mutasi virus COVID-19 dalam komuniti adalah menerusi vaksinasi. 

[FEATURE] Post COVID-19: Lessons Learnt and the Way Forward

The COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to how important a good healthcare system can lead to a speedy recovery towards the wellbeing of the nation. Undoubtedly, this pandemic has various facets when it comes to impact. Nevertheless, it is significant for us to venture into the realm of the virus and epidemiological measures in curbing the spread of the disease.

[Q&A] Apa itu varian Delta? Apa perbezaannya dengan Delta Plus?

Mutakhir ini wujud penularan varian Delta yang kini dilaporkan telah merebak sehingga ke hampir di 100 negara, termasuk Malaysia. Pertubuhan Kesihatan Sedunia (WHO) turut memberi amaran bahawa dunia sedang dalam tempoh getir mendepani pandemik COVID-19 dengan penularan varian mutasi SARS-CoV-2 paling berbahaya di dunia ketika ini.

[OPINION] Beware the 5th Wave of Covid-19

We must not be complacent about the threat of the 5th Wave in Malaysia, especially due to the Delta variant. Our pandemic is barely under any control despite 4 weeks of a lockdown. We need to support each other and see the nation through these next few difficult months.

[KENYATAAN MEDIA] Vaksinasi Elak Derita Akibat COVID-19

Pengalaman pernah dijangkiti COVID-19 dan tidak mahu trauma berulang, selebriti tempatan, Tiz Zaqyah nekad memastikan keluarganya mendaftar untuk divaksinasi menerusi aplikasi MySejahtera. Pelakon “Covid Oh Covid” yang dijangkiti virus pada bulan Mei baru-baru ini berkongsi kegusaran yang dialaminya ketika mengharungi detik cemas itu.

[EXPERT REACTION] What is the difference between VOI & VOC?

Recently, Malaysia has been recording an increased number of COVID-19 cases categorised by either the Variant of Concern (VOC) or Variant of Interest (VOI). VOCs or VOIs are mutant forms of the COVID virus (SARS-CoV-2), which are more virulent and infectious than its predecessor Wuhan strain. Dr Liyana explains the difference between VOI and VOCs in Malaysia.

[EXPERT REACTION] Brought in Dead (BID) COVID-19

It was reported that there were 293 or about 10% of the 2,796 Covid-19 deaths recorded as of May 31 were brought-in-dead (BID) cases. This figure has raised some concerns as there are cases where Covid-19 patients do not have symptoms and can deteriorate rapidly. There are also possibilities that many BID patients did not realise they were positive for Covid-19 until it was too late. We asked experts to explain this scenario.

Testimonials

The need and importance of effective science communication is clearly highlighted in this COVID-19 pandemic. Communicating science between scientists and the general public, policy makers and other stakeholders is an essential element of outbreak management plan. The public and policy makers must be able to understand the basics of science before they can make informed decisions. But scientists need a platform to share their knowledge, research data and information to the public and policy makers. And the Science Media Centre Malaysia provides a great platform for scientists to reach out.

Photo of Dr Chai Lay Ching, Chairperson Young Scientists Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia

Dr Chai Lay Ching, Chairperson Young Scientists Network-Academy of Sciences Malaysia

In a fast-paced newsroom, journalists are always busy and rushing to meet deadlines. With the COVID-19 coverage, we are constantly seeking out information and expert insights to accurately explain about the global pandemic particularly on the aspects of infection and treatment. COVID-19 requires a greater understanding of science and the Science Media Centre Malaysia is a good place for journalists to source for experts’ quotes and we also get story ideas by reading about the latest scientific research.

Photo of Thasha Jayamanogaran, Chief-Reporter, Malay Mail

Thasha Jayamanogaran, Chief-Reporter, Malay Mail