Updated report: The COVID-19 Long-Term Care situation in Malaysia

Kejal Hasmuk, Hakimah Sallehuddin, Maw Pin Tan, Wee Kooi Cheah, Rahimah Ibrahim, Sen Tyng Chai

The report is available here:


Key findings:

  • Malaysia has ten (10) federal-funded old folks’ homes and two (2) homes for the chronically ill in Peninsular Malaysia, five (5) state-funded old folks’ homes in East Malaysia, and a number of Islamic care homes operated and/or supported by State religious authorities.
  • There are about 320 residential aged care facilities registered under the Department of Social Welfare (Act 506) and 26 nursing homes registered under the Ministry of Health (Act 586). The estimated number of unregistered facilities ranges from 700 to over 1000, depending on estimation method and definition used.
  • Community and home-based long-term care are currently unregulated in Malaysia.
  • Department of Social Welfare and Ministry of Health officials work closely with academics, care home representatives and civil society groups to reach out to aged care providers.
  • Malaysia has adopted a mass-testing strategy for all registered and unregistered care homes. As of 5 July 2020, testing involving 18,212 staff and residents from 425 facilities, of whom 16,361 (89.8%) were tested, yielded a positivity rate of 0.2%. A majority of those tested positive were asymptomatic (83.3%).
  • Previously, two older persons clusters have been reported (and closed) which involved at least two aged care premises in Klang and Petaling Jaya, resulting in 36 infections and 5 deaths. A further care home cluster has emerged, with eight cases involving both residents and staff, six of whom remain active cases at the time of this report. No deaths have been reported in this cluster.
  • Care homes lack basic PPE and have difficulty observing physical distancing within their confined spaces.
  • The industry body proposed a ‘No visitors’ policy and care homes are discouraged from admitting any new residents
  • Care home residents with suspected COVID-19 will be admitted to COVID hospitals, with all other residents admitted for isolation and testing if necessary.  
  • The Ministry of Health have also recently mandated that older persons to be discharged to an aged care facility need to be tested for COVID-19.

1 thought on “Updated report: The COVID-19 Long-Term Care situation in Malaysia”

  1. It looks like that there is a lot of work to be done in terms of regulation and also, as in many parts of the world, including Australia, where I live, a renewal of respect for older people who have contributed a great deal during their lifetimes. This very concise report gives a thorough account of the situation in Malaysia, which I visited many years ago, at which time there was a good deal of respect for older citizens, and good care for them in old age.

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