Over the weekend, words have begun circulating all over the Internet that certain COVID-19 self-test kits can now be obtained for less than RM10 in Malaysia. This even though the official ceiling price of such kit still remains at RM19.90 per unit or RM16.00 for wholesale purchase.
The existence of the sub-RM10 self-test kit was then made official through a launch event at KK Super Mart KLIA2 yesterday by the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Alexander Nanta Linggi. The renowned convenience store chain is currently selling the All Test antigen rapid test kit by Hangzhou AllTest Biotech Corporation for RM6.60 per unit.
We bought the same test kit albeit at a slightly higher price of RM6.90 from 99 Speedmart at SS14 Subang Jaya last night to see the differences between the kit and another All Test kit that we purchased on 20 October at AEON Wellness Pharmacy in Mid Valley for RM18.00.
As you can see from these pictures, the RM6.90 kits come in a paper box and also has a smaller funnel as well as a biosafety disposal bag. Those are pretty much the only factors that set it apart from the higher-end kit which costs almost three times more.
Meanwhile, Minister Alexander has also pointed out in a media statement that 2,570 supermarkets, convenience stores, and petrol stations have received the approval to sell COVID-19 self-test kits to consumers, as of 28 October. That being said, there was no mention of any new ceiling price in the statement though.
Perhaps, the government is really letting the market decide the price. After all, the Deputy Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs, Rosol Wahid has previously mentioned that the government originally intended to revise the ceiling price to between RM13 and RM15 before being assured by manufacturers that they can deliver the kit at a much lower price.