PUTRAJAYA: The first batch of 50,000 antigen rapid test kits from South Korea are expected to arrive in Malaysia on Friday (May 1), says the Health Ministry.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said once the rapid test kits were ready, they would likely be sent to Sabah and Sarawak to help boost Covid-19 testing there.
“The priority will be for Sabah and Sarawak.
"The two states are vast and the logistics are more challenging there.
“For example, in Sarawak, there are only four hospitals and labs with the capability to conduct Covid-19 testings, namely the Sarawak General Hospital in Kuching, Miri Hospital, Bintulu Hospital and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas).
“We can place the rapid test kits at other hospitals and clinics.
"The advantage of these rapid test kits is that testing can be done at point of care and results will be produced quickly, so there is no need to send the samples to labs elsewhere, ” said Dr Hisham at the ministry’s daily Covid-19 press conference here.
He said the ministry’s healthcare workers would be given training on how to use the tests.
He added that besides East Malaysia, some of the kits would be sent to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
“We will put two biosafety cabinets in KLIA, so we can keep these test kits. The test kits can be used to test transit passengers, for example, ” he said.
The antigen rapid test kits, procured from Korean firm SD Biosensor, are said to have a sensitivity rate of 84.4% and specificity rate of 100%.
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