Health minister says Covid-19 test kit ceiling price to be revised, waiting for current supply to finish before announcement

JusChek Covid-19 rapid antigen self-test kits are displayed for sale at a pharmacy in Shah Alam September 2, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
JusChek Covid-19 rapid antigen self-test kits are displayed for sale at a pharmacy in Shah Alam September 2, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — The Health Ministry announced that it will revise the price ceiling for Covid-19 self-test kits and has to wait for current supplies to finish before the announcement.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the transitional period was necessary as suppliers have complained about not having enough time to clear the stocks during the last announcement on new price ceiling for Covid-19 self-test kits.

“For self test kits, the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) and Health Ministry have discussed so that we can decrease the price again.

“And we will probably announce in the future but it will take some transitional period so that the suppliers that have already bought the test kit can sell their current stock.

“Because the last time we decreased the price, they (suppliers) gave their opinion on not having enough time to clear their stock,” he said during a press conference at Kuala Lumpur Hospital today.

Khairy also mentioned that the ministry will use necessary resources to import outreach programmes in response to a few states especially Sabah’s slow progress on vaccination.

“I received a report in Sabah that there are not many people who come to vaccination centres (PPV) anymore. That is why in Sabah, we will use our resources to mobilise vaccination outreach programmes.

“For other states, I’m confident that they will reach 80 per cent vaccination rate by October,” he added.

Last month, national news agency Bernama reported that the proposal to lower the ceiling price of Covid-19 self-test kits must be studied by taking into account the interests of all parties and cannot be done in haste.

Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi told the Dewan Rakyat that the implementation of the proposal must be able to create a win-win situation between the consumers, manufacturers and traders.

As of yesterday, a total of 20,698,852 individuals or 88.4 per cent of the adult population in the country have completed their Covid-19 vaccination, less than two per cent short of the targeted 90 per cent.

Based on the Health Ministry’s data on the CovidNow portal, 120,402 or 3.8 per cent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 have completed their vaccination.

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