Bukit Gasing assemblyman makes RM70 private Covid-19 testing available to all Malaysians

Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran speaks during a press conference at DAP’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur November 24, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran speaks during a press conference at DAP’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur November 24, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 — Bukit Gasing assemblyman Rajiv Rishyakaran today announced that his office is making private Covid-19 testing available for a lowered price of RM70 to the entire Malaysian public.

The initiative, which was previously available only to Bukit Gasing residents, uses ministry-approved Rapid Test Kits-Antigen (RTK-AG) kits, and beats the going price of RM150 to RM180 per test at private testing facilities.

“We have procured the exact same RTK-AG kits from the same vendor as MoH and we are providing these kits to participating clinics. We have negotiated a decent bulk price and thus are available to offer the test to the public at RM70 without subsidy”, said Rajiv during a press conference at the DAP headquarters here today.

Rajiv said that the lowered price had been obtained through direct negotiations with a supplier of the test kits branded Standard Q, and called upon the government and Ministry of Health (MoH) to do the same.

“Based on the negotiations I’ve had with the supplier of the test kits, I do know that it is possible to do RTK-AG testing nationwide at RM70 for everyone, without subsidy, if the government chooses to embark on it.

“We also know that the pricing can be brought down even further if these test kits are purchased in a larger volume,” he said.

It is important to note however that on Facebook yesterday, MoH revealed that RTK-AG testing at government facilities costs RM60.

“We understand that even MoH has limitations when it comes to testing, especially since their primary focus is on close contact and the clusters,” said Rajiv.

He said that the private clinics should be utilised in order to test others who may want or need to be tested, but had to be turned away due to limitations at government facilities.

Rajiv said that currently only two private clinics in the Bukit Gasing area are involved in his initiative, and welcomed more clinics nationwide to join in.

“If there are the clinics that want to participate in this, I welcome widespread participation,” he said.

However, he declined to name the two clinics currently involved, saying that this was to better manage the initiative and keep it organised.

He instead directed patrons to the specific hotline to schedule an appointment, where the names and locations of the clinics will then be revealed.

Those looking to get tested under the initiative should share their name, address, identification card number and contact number via WhatsApp to 016-3064104. Additionally, the same number can be called for further inquiries.

Malaysia’s Covid-19 testing rate currently stands at 76.4 per 1,000 people, with a positive detection rate of 2 per cent. The MoH has already purchased more 1.1 million  RTK-AG test kits for use nationwide.

The RTK-AG tests kits reportedly have a 90 per cent accuracy rate and can yield results within 15 minutes.

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