Health Ministry considers using breath test to detect Covid-19, says its minister

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the Medical Device Authority (MDA) will run a clinical test on the efficacy of the tool before giving its approval for use in the country. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the Medical Device Authority (MDA) will run a clinical test on the efficacy of the tool before giving its approval for use in the country. — Picture by Choo Choy May

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PUTRAJAYA, May 27 — The Ministry of Health (MOH) is considering the use of the breath test which has been identified as the latest tool to detect Covid-19 in Malaysia.

Minister Datuk Seri Dr Adham Baba said the Medical Device Authority (MDA) will run a clinical test on the efficacy of the tool before giving its approval for use in the country.

“Right now, it is widely tested in Singapore as a tool to detect Covid-19 and it should be explored for use in our country too,” he told a virtual press conference here today.

On May 24, Bernama reported that an easy-to-use breath test that can accurately detect Covid-19 within a minute has received provisional authorisation from Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority (HSA).

The BreFence™ Go Covid-19 Breath Test System is developed by Breathonix Pte Ltd, a spin-off company from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

On the detection of Covid-19 through a self-test kit using the deep throat saliva sampling, Dr Adham said the approval for the use of the test kit would be issued soon.

“Detection of Covid-19 using the deep throat saliva sampling is easy and can be done at home. It also has a high level of sensitivity and specificity,” he said.

The minister said, once approved, members of the public can purchase the kit at any pharmacy or supplier registered with the MOH.

“If they are tested positive after using the self-test kit, they need to quarantine themselves and notify the nearest district health office or via the MySejahtera app,” he said.

Prior to this, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the MOH is in the midst of identifying two companies that will supply the test kit. — Bernama

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