KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 9 — The government is looking at further revising down the price of COVID-19 Self-Test Kits by end of this year to make them accessible to everyone.
Finance Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz said the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry and the Ministry of Health are looking into the matter.
“To expand testing efforts, the Ministry of Health has recognised RTK Antigen and approved several COVID-19 Self-Test Kits which can be bought in pharmacies nationwide.
“In making the self-test kits accessible to everyone, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs and the Ministry of Health have set the ceiling price at below RM20 per set,” he said in a special address during the virtually-held National Recovery Plan Summit today.
The government has set the retail ceiling price for the COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kit at RM19.90 per set and RM16 per set for wholesale price, effective Sept 5.
Tengku Zafrul said a few other measures are also in the pipeline for implementation under the National Recovery Plan (NRP), including the setting up of a call centre to offer immediate assistance in managing COVID-19 causes, apart from factoring in booster shots or multi-year vaccination programmes into public healthcare protocols.
Other than that, he said, Whole Genome Sequencing is being undertaken by the Institute of Medical Research to better detect the presence and spread of new variants, while technology and mobile data usage are planned to be expanded to enhance contact tracing.
“Potential close contacts will soon be identified and notified on the need to quarantine themselves. Asymptomatic and cases with minor symptoms are now subject to a Home Surveillance Order,” he said.
Noting that some great progress had been seen thus far under NRP, he said, there is still much to be done, especially in strengthening the healthcare system’s capacity and nurturing the recovery of people and industry.
“We do not yet completely know how our economy and way of life will change, but what we can do is to focus our minds and energies on emerging from this crisis as a more resilient nation and Keluarga Malaysia,” he said.
Tengku Zafrul also expressed his hope that the NRP and Budget 2022 would serve as a template not just on how to exit the pandemic, but also on how to navigate the more pressing challenges ahead.
“We will harness data to help us to be more agile and responsive, underscored by the spirit of inclusivity, to serve us on our continued path towards better resilience and shared prosperity.
“To that end, I call on all parties, government, private sector, civil society organisations, to name a few, to come together as one Keluarga Malaysia. Let’s come together, and win together,” he said.