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KUCHING, Sept 2: Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii is urging the government to subsidise the Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kits (self-test kits) to price them to below RM10 per unit for the B40 and lower M40 groups.
Though the retail and wholesale prices will be capped at RM19.90 and RM16 per set respectively effective Sept 5, he said they are still “too expensive” for many segments of society, especially if multiple test kits are required frequently in one family.
“That is why I urge the government to take an extra step to subsidise the price of the Covid-19 self-test kit to make it affordable and accessible to the mass public as we facilitate the public into accepting it as part of the ‘new normal’ as one of the important steps to progressively reopen our economy safely and sustainably,” he said.
As self-testing becomes more common in the community, he held that the government should look into reducing red tape when approving test kit brands to encourage competition in the market, which will further drive down wholesale prices so more people can afford them.
Subsidised self-test kits, Dr Yii added, can also alleviate the burden of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as they incorporate regular self-testing into their general standard operating procedure (SOP) to reduce outbreaks and clusters at workplaces.
“However, it is then important for the government to properly regulate such test kits to ensure its effectiveness and make the necessary enforcement to ensure those sold in the market are genuine and approved by the Malaysian Medical Device Authority (MDA).
“Currently, we received multiple reports of fake kits being sold online or even those that are not approved, whose effectiveness may be questionable,” he said in a statement today.
“This is the ‘new normal’ that we need to transition into, and the government must provide a conducive environment for that to happen,” he added. — DayakDaily