RTK MDA (Picture for representational purposes only). Enforcers from the Ministry of Domestric Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP), ant the Gombak District Health Office monitoring the prices of Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test Kit (self-test kit) via an Integrated Operation at several pharmacies around Sri Gombak, Selangor. PIX: AFFAN FAUZI / MalaysiaGazette / 09 SEPTEMBER 2021.
The following article is submitted to the editorial of MalaysiaGazette by reader, Yeap Ming Liong.

It is advisable to only purchase RTK-Antigen self-test kits, which have been approved by the Ministry of Health. There is undoubtedly a surge in demand for these self-test kits as Malaysia has been recorded high number of cases lately.

Using these self-test kits are one of the ways we can help curb the spread of the virus. It keeps everyone safe to a certain extent and I believe the use of these self-test kits is already a normal part of life. It is definitely more affordable now as compared to months before, and more people are accustomed to using it and there is a variety of brands available in the market.

However, if in case one is doubtful of the performance of these self-test kits. The MDA has already published a list titled Self-Test Covid-19 Test Kit for Conditional Approval (Approved) for members of the public to check.

It is always a good idea to countercheck the brand against the list for assurance. At last look the list which is easily available on the MDA’s portal has a total of 124 brands. This initiative by the Health Ministry must be commended as it boosts public confidence. However, ultimately it is also wise to undergo a Polymerase Chain Reaction, PCR test to confirm the results of an RTK test kit regardless of brand.

In the same breath, we must not lower our guard in the fight against the virus. The use of face masks, hand sanitisers, self-test kits and the likes are only tools in our fight against the virus. Having the right mentality and attitude is equally as important.

This means adhering to the Standard Operating Procedures, SOPs which needs no reminding. Some will throw around the notion that there is a fine line between lives and livelihoods and I agree wholeheartedly. However, we all have a civic duty to protect not only ourselves but also each other.

We need to address the pandemic not as selfish individuals, but together as a united Malaysian Family.

Yeap Ming Liong
Subang Jaya, Selangor