Bandar Kuching MP wants govt to lower price of Covid-19 self-testing kit

Dr Kelvin Yii

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KUCHING, Aug 5: The Federal government and the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry (KPDNHEP) must immediately look at subsidising and controlling the price of Covid-19 self-test kits to make it affordable and accessible to the public, says Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.

Dr Yii opined that this would help facilitate the acceptance of self-testing as part of the new normal, especially as one of the important steps to progressively reopen the country’s economy safely and sustainably.

According to him, the current retail price of RM39.90 per test kit was “not affordable” for the B40 group and even the M40 groups if there are many members in the family that need to be tested frequently.

“One of the ways the government can look into is to properly regulate such test kits to ensure its effectiveness and accelerate approvals of those that meet the necessary requirements.

“This will encourage competition in the market, which will drive down the price once ordered in bulk, especially when the demand increases.

“From there, the government can look at subsidising it to bring the price below RM10 to make it affordable and accessible to the community,” he proposed in a statement today.

Dr Yii pointed out that the government should also incorporate self-testing into the PekaB40 initiative to provide protection coverage to the B40 group.

He believes that encouraging self-testing can also help lower the risk of workplace or economic-related clusters without the need for constant closing down or lockdown that comes at a huge economic cost.

Each sector and industry, he said, can set the requirement for frequent weekly testing to be carried out in order to reduce risk of infections in their settings, as those tested positive can quickly be isolated, treated and given all the necessary support immediately.

“This is the new normal that we need to transition into, and the government must provide a conducive environment for that to happen.

“At the end of the day, the new normal is not about living with perpetual lockdowns in their various forms. The new normal is how Malaysia can adopt measures to minimise and mitigate the presence and impact of Covid-19 within our community while reopening most, if not all of our social and economic activities,” he added. — DayakDaily