DAP MP moots rebates on Covid-19 self-test kits to encourage honesty, Khairy agrees

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A staff holds up a Covid-19 antigen self-test kit at a pharmacy in Sri Gombak September 9, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A staff holds up a Covid-19 antigen self-test kit at a pharmacy in Sri Gombak September 9, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin today agreed with an Opposition MP’s suggestion to offer a rebate on self-test kits to encourage more people to report and update their Covid-19 statuses.

Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii had first asked Khairy about the low report rate of those who self-tested for Covid-19.

He claimed many who carried out self-testing did not update their health status on the MySejahtera app as required by the government.

“I propose a rebate. For example, the government subsidises RM10 when we sell for RM12 and when people report, RM2 will be given back as rebate. What is the minister's view?" Dr Yii asked in the Dewan Rakyat this morning.

Khairy replied that the majority who reported did so after finding out they were positive for Covid-19 after self-testing, and that few update their status after testing negative.

“That is why we have an issue with our denominator and now we have already taken the denominator; we have tallied the number of RT-PCR tests, professional laboratory RTK tests and the RTK-Antigen self-test.

“So if we add up all of these on September 21, at the national level our positivity rate, PCR tests plus the laboratory RTK-Antigen tests plus RTK-Antigen self-tests, is 9.95 per cent, but we don't know the true denominator, as we do not know how many have done the self-tests.

“That is why I like the view by Bandar Kuching, for us to offer rebates to those who report their test results. That is perhaps the only way for us to see a higher self-reporting rate,” Khairy replied.

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