Tok Mat: Mass testing necessary to keep Covid-19 pandemic in check

Health personnel conduct swab sample tests at Dewan MBSA Paya Jaras Tengah, Sungai Buloh May 26, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
Health personnel conduct swab sample tests at Dewan MBSA Paya Jaras Tengah, Sungai Buloh May 26, 2021. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

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KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Apart from ramping up vaccination, Malaysia needs to increase its mass testing capacity radically to check the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic, said Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

He said the government should also consider immediately reducing the costs for Real-Time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and Rapid Test Kit Antigen (RTK-Ag) tests.

Claiming that the high cost of Covid-19 testing is stunting efforts to control the pandemic, he suggested that a price cap be imposed on test kits to make testing more affordable and accessible.

“This is the easiest way to detect positive cases and control the outbreak. With mass testing, we can encourage more individual isolation at home and provide early treatment when necessary,” he said in a statement today.

According to him, in most Western countries, test kits including self-test kits are provided in abundance at an affordable price, while technological advances have significantly improved the accuracy of RTK-Ag tests.

“The government could also utilise the expertise of the best industry players to produce RTK-Ag test kits at the cheapest price (possible) for public use. This is the time for us to use our multi-sector resources to fight this pandemic.

“Malaysia must make testing a norm. In countries like Germany, the majority of households are already conducting their own testing twice a week,” he said. — Bernama

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