Weekly Highlights

We need affordable Covid-19 testing.

In a recent briefing, Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said Malaysians who plan to travel interstate or inter district are encouraged to voluntarily undergo Covid-19 screening before leaving a red zone.

Ismail Sabri encourages Malaysians travelling from a red zone to undergo Covid-19 testing.

This advice was given after the Director General of Health, Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah linked several new Covid-19 clusters to interstate and interdistrict travel after the activity was allowed on Dec 7.

While this advice is sound enough, how available or affordable is the Rapid Antigen Test (RTK-AG) to Malaysians? The government (through SOCSO) has provided free RTK-Ag test kits to panel clinics to test foreign workers.

The employers of these foreign workers only have to pay a clinical service fee that starts from RM35 upwards. 

If the panel clinics are already getting these test kits for free from the government to test foreign workers, the same deal should be extended to all Malaysians.

This is really unfair to Malaysians who also want or need to be tested, especially if it is needed for travelling purposes. The test kits provided to the clinics should also be made available to the general public, thus lowering the burden of cost on our people. 

Giving the same deal to the Malaysian public will also encourage more testing. This will lead to more cases detected, controlling the spread and overall helping the nation in the fight against Covid-19.   

“This is really unfair to Malaysians who also want or need to be tested, especially if it is needed for travelling purposes.” – Rajiv Rishyakaran

I strongly urge that the government look into making RTK-AG testing available and affordable for all. The service fee imposed by the panel clinics should also be standardised to a fee that is acceptable and affordable. 

RAJIV RISHYAKARAN,

ADUN N.34 BUKIT GASING

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