Keep Covid-19 self-test kits affordable, says Lee Lam Thye


PETALING JAYA: Covid-19 self-test kits would allow more people to test for the disease but it must not come with a hefty price tag, says Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.

The Alliance for Community chairman lauded the government’s plans to bring the self-test kits to the local market and hoped there were no parties trying to make a profit from the move.

“How affordable will these kits be? If the costs are high, not many who need them will be able to afford them.

“We must remember that this is not the time to profit from the sale of these self-test kits,” he said in a statement Thursday (July 8).

He said people are already finding it hard to afford daily necessities and since it was in the interest of everyone to get tested, Lee proposed for the government to launch a scheme to provide the kits for free to the needy or subsidise the cost to make it more affordable.

On Wednesday (July 7), Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the Medical Research Institute was studying two Covid-19 self-test kits that used saliva and found that they had sensitivity levels above 90%.

He added that the Medical Device Authority was detailing guidelines to use the test kits, which should be ready by next week.

In May, Dr Noor Hisham indicated that two companies were offering the test kits for sale at local pharmacies.

Lee also congratulated the government for speeding up the vaccination process, with more than 340,000 doses given on Tuesday (July 6).

Lee said the government now needs to aim to give out 400,000 doses a day, adding that it was a reasonable and achievable target.

He also hopes the National Covid-19 Immunisation programme will proceed as planned despite the fluid political situation.

“Full vaccination of our people is our best hope to save lives and ensure livelihood,” he said.

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