Malaysia to receive 100,000 Covid-19 rapid antigen test kits this week

So far, public health authorities have already received 50,000 of the test kits imported from S. Korea, says health DG


MALAYSIA will receive up to 100,000 rapid antigen test kits by the end of the week as the Health Ministry (MoH) increases its capacity to conduct mass testing for high-risk groups.

Health DG Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said so far, public health authorities have already received 50,000 of the test kits imported from South Korea.

“We have distributed 10,000 to Sarawak; 10,000 to Sabah; 15,000 to Johor; and 15,000 to Kuala Lumpur Intenational Airport (KLIA) and KLIA2.

“We will be receiving another 100,000 at the end of this week,” he said at the daily Covid-19 press briefing yesterday.

He added that the ministry had already considered buying a million rapid antigen test kits from South Korea to screen more people for the virus.

In a related development, Dr Noor Hisham stated that foreign workers are now included in the “targeted group” for Covid-19 testing, especially those in the red zones in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

He said MoH has always adopted the targeted approach to detect Covid-19 infections.

“Previously, the targeted or high-risk group was from the Sri Petaling gathering, which remains the largest Covid-19 cluster to date, and those from the tahfiz school.

“Now, foreign workers are also part of the targeted group, especially in the red zones in Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Selangor. Our policy now is to make sure that each one of them gets tested,” he added.

As of yesterday, 83 patients recovered from Covid-19, bringing the number of recoveries and discharges to 4,567.

The number of new cases dropped to double digits in the last few days, with 30 new cases recorded yesterday.

This brought the total number of Covid-19 infections in the country to 6,383 cases.

Yesterday 1,764 active cases were being treated at the country’s health facilities with 24 patients receiving treatment at intensive care units and eight on respiratory aid.

One more Covid-19 casualty was also recorded yesterday, taking the country’s Covid-19 death toll to 106.

The latest casualty involved a 47-year-old man who was admitted to a private hospital on March 15 before being transferred to Hospital Sungai Buloh the next day. He died on May 5.

Dr Noor Hisham said the Covid-19 infections at the KL Wholesale Market are linked to the Sri Petaling gathering, in which the index case for this cluster was a participant.

“A total of 180 positive cases involving the KL Wholesale Market cluster have been reported, of which 100 are within the Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) area,” he said.

He added that 80 cases were detected outside of the KL Wholesale Market which was placed under the EMCO.

Meanwhile, 29 cases were identified through screenings in four wet markets, namely Pasar Besar Seremban and Pasar Besar Bahau in Negri Sembilan; and Pasar Besar Jalan Othman and Pasar Taman Megah in Petaling Jaya.

Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry has set in place preventive measures following the new infections detected at the markets, including screening traders and businessmen for Covid-19.