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Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar suggests Malaysians to shift towards the more efficient Antigen Rapid Test Kits (RTK-Ag) to screen for Covid-19.
He said that the Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test is more costly and more sensitive as even recovered patients could still test positive under the RT-PCR tests.
Khairy added that RTK-Ag test also would produce results in mere minutes compared to the RT-PCR Test.
“In the current situation, with the highly infectious Omicron variant (in the community), the RTK-Ag tests are more effective as it reduces the waiting time to identify a positive case.
“So, it is better for 1,000 people tested with RTK-Antigen compared to ten people who undergo RT-PCR,” Khairy said, in a Tik Tok video that he posted on Twitter.
Ujian RTK membolehkan kita mengesan kes positif yang ‘infective’ dengan lebih pantas & mengasingkan diri terutama dalam gelombang Omicron di mana varian ini cepat merebak. RT-PCR boleh digunakan dalam situasi tertentu seperti untuk ke luar negara atau untuk pulang ke Malaysia. pic.twitter.com/6KpLjs3dxW— Khairy Jamaluddin 🇲🇾🌺 (@Khairykj) March 14, 2022
Khairy also said that those tested positive for Covid-19 through self-test kits do not have to undergo the RT-PCR tests to verify the results but should start undergoing quarantine as soon as possible.
He however added that the RT-PCR tests will still be used for travellers who enter and exit the country.