Govt studying all factors to lower price of Covid-19 self-test kits


KUALA LUMPUR: The government is studying all factors to find ways to lower the price of rapid Covid-19 self-test kits and other home assessment kits before taking the best approach on the matter, says Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi (pic)

The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister told the Dewan Rakyat that the ministry will scrutinise all the proposals accordingly as the suggestion to lower the price of rapid self -test kits and other related items is a good idea.

"The best approach is for us to engage with all levels of industry players so that no parties will feel mistreated or affected, including traders, consumers, wholesalers and anyone who needs those items," he told Cha Kee Chin (PH-Rasah) during Minister's Question Time.

Cha had asked the ministry to state its stance on whether it will set a maximum ceiling price for items aside from rapid Covid-19 self-test kits, including sanitization sprays, oxymeters and air purifiers.

Nanta Linggi also noted that the Ministry will continue to monitor the prices of these products from time to time.

He added that action can be taken under the Price Control and Anti-Profiteering Act 2011 on any trader who tries to make an unreasonable profit through a sharp price increase that affects the interest of consumers needing such products.

To the initial question, the Minister said that the decision to reduce the price of Covid-19 rapid self-test kits must be implemented carefully and not rushed.

Nanta Linggi said this is because the Ministry has to take into account the interests of all parties as well as formulating a win-win solution.

He added that the Ministry must also protect consumers so they remain free from Covid-19 infection.

"The Ministry will also have to consider the views of related industry players so they can ensure sustainability of their business," he said.

Nanta Linggi added that the Ministry will conduct engagement sessions with the Health Ministry, as well as hold discussions with stakeholders in the rapid Covid-19 self-test kit industry, including pharmacy facilities and clinics.

Throughout the monitoring period of rapid Covid-19 self tests from Sept 5 to 20, 2021, a total of 2,261 premises were inspected by the Ministry, involving 123 wholesale premises and 2,138 retail premises.

From the inspections, 10 warnings were issued for selling above the maximum ceiling price.

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