SEREMBAN: Providing cheaper Covid-19 test kits and radically increasing mass testing will help stem the spread of the virus, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
The Umno deputy president said imposing a price cap for these kits would make testing more affordable and accessible for everyone.
"This is the easiest way to detect positive cases and control the outbreak.
"With mass testing, we can encourage more individual isolation at home and provide early treatment when necessary," he said in a statement on Monday (May 31).
He said the cost for Covid-19 testing currently was too high and this has stunted efforts to control the pandemic.
Comparatively, test kits in western countries were affordable and provided in abundance.
"The government should therefore utilise the expertise of the best industry players to reduce the cost for PCR and RTK Antigen testing," he said.
Mohamad said there was a pressing need to increase mass testing following a projection by University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) that Malaysia's worst-case scenario was 420 deaths per day by Sept 1 this year.
"The data are horrifying and we must avoid this scenario from happening at all costs.
"So, one of the important approaches to avoid the worst-case scenario, other than vaccination, is to conduct mass testing," he said.
Citing an example, Mohamad said in countries like Germany, majority households were already conducting their own testing twice a week.
He said as testing becomes a norm, schools and universities could gradually reopen.
"This pandemic is a war that must be won by all. Abandoning testing will not help reduce the transmission of the virus," he added.