Some consumers said they need to spend more than RM200 a month on self-test kits.
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Covid-19 self-test kits have been selling like hot cakes across the nation.
The surge in demand has been fuelled by new Covid-19 variants such as the Delta and Omicron, which complicates the return to a normal life be it in school, work or travel.
In an ideal world, Covid-19 self-test kits would either be free or just a few ringgit, so that people could test on a constant basis.
The authorities did impose a ceiling price, but the price is still far too high for regular use to many people.
Sinar Harian reported that families are spending between RM300 to RM1,000 a month to try to keep their family and others safe.
In many instances, the self-test kits are needed for individuals who are quarantined at home because they are positive for COVID-19
Housewife Nor Fizah Yusof, 48, said she and her husband had to spend around RM600 to cover expenses for five days of self-quarantine at home.
Prior to our six children testing positive for Covid-19 in early February, almost RM200 had to be spent on self-test kits, with another RM200 on smear tests.Housewife Nor Fizah Yusof on her family’s Covid-19 inflicted expenses.
For food, the family spent RM200. So, in total, they spent around RM600 during the self -quarantine at home.
Bank executive Amira Aida Suhada Zulkepli, 24, spent RM150 spent to buy a self -test kit after being in close contact with a colleague who was infected with Covid-19.
This does not include buying food for lunch and dinner through Grab Food and Foodpanda. That’s about RM280 a week. Therefore, it costs a lot and its a substantial increases on my monthly expenses.Bank executive Amira Aida on Covid-19 inflicted expenses.
Their grivances are echoed by netizens on social media.
They lamented that the ceiling price is only applicable to certain brands, and the cheapest ones are always out of stock.
For Malaysians looking for swift answers through online shopping, the cheapest available self-test kits is RM6.99.
The cheapest brand is selling for Rm4.90, but as mentioned by netizens, is sold out.
At the same time, consumers could get cheaper ones from physical stores.
MR DIY is selling self test kit for Rm 5.80! It’s good to see affordable pricing for self test kit now Alhamdulillah. Hopefully it will be cheaper in the future. pic.twitter.com/6dRsDkcNw7— Anas Hayyan (@AnasHayyan) November 22, 2021
Despite the surge in demand, there is no limit on the number of self-test kits people can buy.
Tax Relief For Covid-19 Test
The Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (IRB) has announced tax relief for Covid-19 detection test which is applicable for individual taxpayers.
Taxpayers can also claim up to RM1,000 for Covid-19 vaccination expenses for themselves, their spouses and children.
The tax relief is contained in the amendments of the Income Tax Act 1967 which were tabled in December 2021.
The amount of the expenses must be evidenced by receipt and supporting documents.