Health Director-General Dr Noor Hisham is advising the public to periodically do COVID-19 self-testing as they travel to see their loved ones. The statement comes as both interstate and international travels are set to resume for all Malaysians in a few days when the adult vaccination rate hits 90%.
Malaysia will soon move to an endemic COVID-19 phase, which means that for the foreseeable future, the country will go back to normalcy while living with the virus as a constant disease. As part of the government’s “Reopening Safely” campaign, officials such as Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin are advising citizens who plan to move around to regularly perform RTK-Antigen COVID-19 tests and do self-assessments on risks.
1.6% before interstate borders open. While @KKMPutrajaya has transitioned to symptomatic testing, we encourage people who are in high contact & mobility settings to test regularly. If you want to balik kampung to see elderly parents, do a RTK saliva test. Keep them safe. pic.twitter.com/uFXVgJ8nLm
— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) October 6, 2021
The COVID-19 self-test kits can be found at most pharmacies and clinics nationwide and are now sold at a ceiling price of RM19.90. The Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry initially announced that the price would be lowered even further before schools reopen on 3 October but the date has passed and there has been no update on the matter so far.
The kits commonly use one of two methods, either a saliva sample or nasal swab, with some brands using a mix of both. There are currently 24 brands approved for use in Malaysia, according to MDA, and the MySejahtera app allows users to input their test results for further action.
Those who report a positive test result on MySejahtera will be given a Home Surveillance Order (HSO) which compels them to isolate themselves and quarantine at home for 10 days. Users will also need to perform a daily health self-assessment and individuals with symptoms should visit the nearest COVID-19 Assessment Centre.
You should also report negative test results on MySejahtera as the Health Ministry says that those who receive a negative result tend to forego reporting, skewing the denominator for public health data on infectivity rate.