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JusChek Covid-19 rapid antigen self-test kits are displayed for sale at a pharmacy in Shah Alam September 2, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
JusChek Covid-19 rapid antigen self-test kits are displayed for sale at a pharmacy in Shah Alam September 2, 2021. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

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GEORGE TOWN, Sept 2 — The Penang government is asking for the price of Covid-19 RTK antigen self-test kits to be further lowered, especially when the country enters the endemic phase, said Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.

The lawmaker welcomed the recent announcement of a ceiling price for the self-test kits at RM16 for wholesale and RM19.90 for retail.

He said the demand for self-test kits will increase as the country moves into the endemic phase by the end of October so he hopes the price could be lowered further.

“I am also happy to announce an allocation of 500 self-test kits by the state government for each state assemblyman and MP to be distributed to their respective constituents,” he said during his winding-up speech at the state legislative assembly today.

He said the free self-test kits will cost the state government RM400,000 and the distribution method will be announced in the near future.

“An announcement on the distribution method will be announced in the near future. This will incur the state more than RM400,000 in costs.”

Earlier, the Health Ministry and the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry announced that the ceiling retail price of the Covid-19 RTK antigen self-test kits would be set at RM19.90 from September 5 onwards while wholesale prices for the kits would be fixed at a maximum of RM16 each.

The self-test kits are currently priced between RM28 and RM41 in the market.

Meanwhile, Chow said there were eight deaths out of the 32 Covid-19 cases of the Delta variant detected in Penang.

“The other 24 cases had completed their treatment and were discharged,” he said.

Out of the 32 cases, he said 27 of them were not vaccinated while five had only received one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

As for the rate of vaccination in Penang, Chow confirmed that Penang will be receiving 1,015,500 doses of vaccine for the whole of September.

“We will be receiving the first delivery tomorrow which included the 200,000 doses that were specially approved by the health ministry last week,” he said.

However, he said this does not mean the state is rejecting Selangor’s offer to loan vaccines to Penang.

“After a courtesy visit from the Selangor mentri besar on August 31, both parties have decided that the offer will remain open and discussions will continue based on needs in future,” he said.

He said Penang has spent about RM180 million on medical supplies and equipment in hospitals in the state since the pandemic other than other major allocations for the Penang Aid Package, Penang Covid-19 mass screening programme and the setting up of low-risk Covid-19 treatment and quarantine centre (PKRC).

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