Malaysians have been advised to reduce their dependence on reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) screening.
The Health Minister says instead, we should move towards using the Rapid Antigen Test Kit (RTK-Ag) as we transition to COVID-19 endemicity.
Photo via The Malaysian Reserve
Khairy Jamaluddin noted that as we face a wave of Omicron infections, RTK-Ag is more effective in tackling the fast-spreading variant.
It’s because RTK-Ag tests are faster at producing results with users having to wait just 15 minutes.
This, compared to RT-PCR screenings which can take up to 48 hours to produce results.
The quicker test results also enable positive patients to undergo quarantine sooner, preventing the further spread of the coronavirus.
The minister adds that not only is RTK-Ag quicker, but it is also cheaper and readily available on the market.
Khairy also reiterated that those who test positive with RTK-Ag need not undergo RT-PCR screening to confirm their infection.
He stressed that they should isolate themselves immediately.
At the same time, Khairy assures that authorities will take action over COVID-19 self-test kits that are not up to standards, adding that the Medical Device Authority will continue to monitor test kits on the market to ensure their quality.
It’s faster, it’s cheaper, and more accessible. It only makes sense for us to use RTK-Ag, especially as we learn to live with the coronavirus during the endemic phase. Stay safe!
By: Elle Firdouz