Covid-19: Self-Test Kits In Malaysia & How They Work
In July 2021, several Covid-19 self test kits were given conditional approval for import and distribution by the Malaysian health ministry, starting with the Salixium Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test by in vitro diagnostics rapid test kits producer Reszon Diagnostic International Sdn Bhd Malaysia, and the Gmate Covid-19 Rapid Test by Philosys Co Ltd in South Korea. In September, the government set the ceiling price for self-test kits at RM19.90. They are available at registered pharmacies and private healthcare facilities i.e. clinics. Currently, there are 41 self-test kits approved by the government.
In a Facebook post on July 20, Malaysia's Health DG Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham remarked that these self-test kits are not meant to replace the RT-PCR tests but rather enable the public to conduct self-screenings in order to find out the status of their Covid-19 infection immediately. With state borders reopening and domestic tourism rebounding, it's important to take personal responsibility to self-test before you reunite with loved ones back in your hometown or embark on that well-deserved holiday.
Read on to find out how these rapid antigen test kits work and what to do following a Covid-19 positive result.
Salixium Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test
A combined nasal and saliva swab test that's less invasive than an RT-PCR test, the Salixium Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test reveals results in approximately 15 minutes. Each kit contains disposable swabs for a single test, a waste bag for safe disposal and an extraction buffer tube in which the nasal and saliva swabs must be placed after samples have been collected.
The kit also comes with a unique QR code supported by the Salixium and MySejahtera apps for reporting results and test tracing. As per the requirement by the Ministry of Health, the results of this rapid antigen test must be recorded via MySejahtera. This test is 91 per cent accurate at generating a positive result (91 per cent sensitivity rate) and 100 per cent accurate at generating a negative result (a 100 per cent specificity rate). The Salixium Covid-19 rapid test has a shelf life of about 18 months. It can be purchased online at MedCart or DoctorOnCall.
Gmate Saliva Antigen Test Kit For Home Use
The GMate Covid-19 Ag test should be applied within five days of the onset of symptoms. This saliva swab test contains a sterilised swab, a buffer container and a test device. It takes around 15 minutes for the results to show up on the test device as either positive, negative or invalid. Tests that show up as invalid must be repeated with a new test kit. The GMate Covid-19 test is available on DoctorOnCall, Big Pharmacy, AA Pharmacy and Caring Pharmacy.
Beright Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Device
This single-use test kit tests for the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 through saliva samples, revealing results in approximately 15 minutes. It has a sensitivity rate of 93.1 per cent and a specificity rate of 100 per cent.
The kit includes a test device, a collection device, a buffer, package insert and a biosafety bag for safe disposal. The kit’s QR code generates a result certificate linked with GPnow telehealth services. Beright Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Device is available online at MultiCare Pharmacy and Sunway Pharmacy.
ALLTest Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test
This self-test kit was manufactured by Hangzhou AllTest Biotech in China, the same producer behind the Beright Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Device and another self test kit recently given conditional approval in Malaysia: the JusChek Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test. Not much is known about the JusCheck Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test apart from the fact that it is distributed in Malaysia by Neopharma Biotech Asia Sdn Bhd.
The ALLTest Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test works in the same way as the other saliva test kits described here, offering a sensitivity rate of 91.38 per cent and a specificity rate of 100 per cent. For more information on this antigen rapid test kit, click here.
According to guidelines from the Ministry of Health, individuals who test positive on their self-test kits are required to visit a Covid-19 Assessment Centre or a health clinic immediately bringing their test results along, even if they show no symptoms. Individuals who test negative but experience Covid-19 symptoms should visit a health clinic for further action. It's advisable to avoid eating or drinking anything at least 30 minutes before taking a saliva test, in order to ensure the most accurate results.
Vaccinated individuals who com into close contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case are required to undergo a self-quarantine period at home for seven days, while unvaccinated or partially vaccinated individuals must complete a quarantine period of at least 10 days.