Business groups: Self-test kits timely, hope for cost control

PETALING JAYA: Enabling the early detection of Covid-19 cases, the self-test kits will be a good internal control for companies, say business operators.

SME Association of Malaysia president Datuk Michael Kang welcomed the availability of these tools in the market.

“For employers, these kits could provide them their own internal control of their staff.

“If Covid-19 cases are detected among their workers, they can monitor the situation themselves and prevent the spread of the virus in the community or within the factory,” he said when contacted yesterday. He added the self-test kits would also help in the early detection of cases within a company.

“If an employee is Covid-19-positive, the person will still be required to do a RT-PCR test to confirm the status (to prevent any false positives),” he added.

Malaysian Muslim Restaurant Owners Association (Presma) president Datuk Jawahar Ali Taib Khan said if these self-test kits could reduce cost for restaurants, they would appreciate the tool.

“Testing twice a month at RM40 is reasonable. But I don’t know how effective these tests are. If they are as good as other Covid-19 tests out there, then we may consider them,” he said.

Thamudran M. Krishnan, owner of LOL cafe in Sentul, Kuala Lumpur, also said the test kits might be cheaper but he was unsure of their efficacy rate.

“I would rather take in staff who are already fully vaccinated. I believe this is going to be the new normal moving forward,” he said.

Meanwhile, Madam Chan, a housewife, said the Covid-19 self-test kits were timely, given the worrying number of daily Covid-19 cases.

The 61-year-old said her son had not left the house for a few months as he worked from home and the family usually got their groceries from online deliveries.

“He was down with fever a week ago. We doubt it was Covid-19 because none of us in the family had any symptoms. Thankfully, he was fine after two days.

“If we had a home self-test kit then, we would have checked his status and got some clarity,” she said.

She added that it was better to use the home test kit first than potentially exposing oneself to the virus in the hospital just to get tested.

Susan Yap, a tuition teacher, feels that a self-test kit would be a useful tool at home.

“If I have some symptoms related to Covid-19, I will want to use it to test myself first. Only then will I decide to go for the more expensive RT-PCR test or not,” the 38-year-old said.

Malaysian Employers Federation executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan said the self-test kits would not only help to ramp up testing but would be cheaper.

However, he questioned whether the government would accept the results of self-testing conducted by employers and employers’ integrity where the results of the tests were concerned.

“For this self-testing to be effective, there must be a high degree of mutual trust between the government and the employers,” he said.

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