PETALING JAYA: Covid-19 self-test kits will soon be available at more places nationwide in a bid to drive retail prices down, says the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry.
Its minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said his ministry was in talks with the Health Ministry to make this happen by the end of this month.
“Our ministry and the Health Ministry are in the final stage of talks to make the Covid-19 self-test kits available in more premises such as supermarkets and chain stores.
“For starters, the self-test kits will be sold at selected supermarkets and chain stores.
“By making them widely available, it will be easier for the public to get their hands on self-test kits.
“At the same time, the ministry is encouraging retailers to offer lower and more reasonable prices for self-test kits without relying on the government to put in place a new ceiling price,” Nanta said yesterday.
Currently, Covid-19 self-test kits, that test either saliva or nasal swabs, are sold at selected pharmacies and clinics.
The government has set a ceiling retail price of RM19.90 for these kits, while the wholesale price is at RM16.
Recently, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said the ministry was looking at lowering the current ceiling price. It has so far approved 32 brands of self-test kits.
Nanta said there were currently nine million self-test kits available in the market.
“Industry players who are involved in bringing in and producing these self-test kits have given positive feedback on selling the kits below the ceiling price.
“The ministry is confident that this collaboration between manufacturers and importers as well as retail chains can help stabilise prices in our effort to get out of this pandemic,” said Nanta.