MELAKA, Aug 17 — The study to determine the suitable retail price of the COVID-19 self-test kit and whether price control can be implemented is expected to be completed by the end of this month.
Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Hasnol Zam Zam Ahmad said the study involved various processes and the gathering of accurate information at the manufacturer, seller and wholesaler levels.
He said accurate pricing was important to protect the interest of consumers, but at the same time, it has to take into account the rights of the manufacturers, sellers and wholesalers so as not to disrupt the supply of the COVID-19 self-test kit in the local market.
“The ministry received complaints from the public on the prices of the COVID-19 self-test kit but at the moment, it is not subject to price control. Instead, the prices are based on the rate suggested by medical authorities.
“However, we are in the midst of completing the information gathering process before we can table it to the government for advice and decision,” he told reporters at Dataran Pahlawan Melaka Megamall today.
He had earlier accompanied the Melaka Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Mohd Ali Rustam to visit the industrial vaccination centre under the Retail Industry Vaccination (RiVAC) programme here.
Commenting further, Hasnol Zam Zam said more than 10 companies in the country had been given the approval to sell and distribute COVID-19 self-test kits, adding that most of the kits were imported and shipped using air transport thus causing the cost to increase.
In another development, he said a total of 5,241 companies with 245,290 workers had registered under the RiVAC programme so far to obtain the COVID-19 vaccinations.
“Of the total, 35,724 individuals have received their first dose and we are targeting for the RiVAC programme to be completed by the end of September.
“In Melaka alone, 5,624 workers from 200 companies have received their vaccination appointments with 3,215 of them have been inoculated,” he said.
He said Melaka was the first state outside the Klang Valley to implement the RiVAC programme followed by Penang, adding that the programme would be expanded to several states such as Johor, Perak, Pahang and Kedah in stages soon.