High demand for home self-test kits

Ngu showing the oximeters at the pharmacy. — CHAN BOON KAI/The Star

THE demand for home self-test kits is overwhelming due to the rise in Covid-19 cases.

Pharmacist Angeline Ngu, 28, said the response from online, walk-in customers and factories had been good.

“We started selling home self-test kits on July 24 and the products quickly sold out,” she said when met at George Town Pharmacy in Bandar Baru Ayer Itam on Saturday.

“We received plenty of orders for bulk purchases from factories, restaurants, offices as well as small and medium enterprises.

“When our test kits are sold out, we will ask our customers to pre-order and they have to wait between three and five days for the stock to arrive.

“The new stock is usually sold out within a day.”

Ngu added that the Medical Device Authority (MDA) had approved 11 self-test kit brands.

The Covid-19 self-test kits available at the pharmacy.The Covid-19 self-test kits available at the pharmacy.

“We are carrying only five of the 11 brands.

“We have the Salixium Rapid Antigen Test Kit, Gmate Saliva Antigen Rapid Test Kit (Home Use), BERIGHT Antigen Rapid Test Kit, ALLTest Antigen Rapid Test Kit and Longsee 2019-nCoV Antigen & Influenza Rapid Co-Detection Kit.

“The prices of the self-test kits are between RM28.90 and RM41.

“People who are in contact with Covid-19 patients can test safely at home since the accuracy is based on 91% sensitivity and 100% specificity.

“They then have to update their results on the MySejahtera app,” she said.

Ngu also said it takes less than 30 minutes to get the results using a home self-test kit.

“It is best to test yourself after seven days of close contact as the virus load will be the highest during that time.

“However, it is best to do a PCR test again to confirm the results.”

Ngu urged the public to buy only self-test kits that are approved by the MDA.

The sale of oximeters has also increased recently.

“An oximeter is highly recommended for a Covid-19 patient who has opted to be quarantined at home,” said Ngu.

“An oxygen saturation (SpO2) reading of between 95% and 100% is widely accepted to be a healthy level.

“However, an SpO2 of less than 95% doesn’t necessarily mean a person has Covid-19 as this may also occur with patients having asthma and heart conditions.

“The public should never rely on SpO2 readings alone but watch out for other signs like progressive weakness and persistent fever.”

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self-test kits , Covid-19 , MySejahtera


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