COVID-19 SELF-TEST KIT
Recently, a few COVID-19 self-test kits were conditionally approved by Malaysia’s Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Medical Device Authority (MDA). These tests are very much portable and can be performed without any fuss with additional equipment. While the self-test kits are not meant to replace the RT-PCR tests, they do provide an easy means for the public to perform screenings at home for COVID-19 infections. They are also significantly less expensive than the current laboratory tests and do not require any specialist operator. A bonus point is that it can provide very quick results!
Photo from: TheStar
The self-test kit can be used by anyone who would like to check their COVID-19 status at home at any time. However, the individuals who have COVID-19 symptoms and their close contacts should perform a self-test to direct the next steps in fighting the virus.
So, let us take a look at some of these approved self-test kits!
The Gmate Saliva Antigen Test Kit is a saliva swab test for ease of use at home! The kit contains a test kit, reagent container, funnel, cap, disposal bag, and user manual. Results require around 15 minutes of waiting time and are indicated as either positive, negative, or invalid. If an “invalid” reading was obtained, you may be required to repeat with a new test kit to obtain more accurate results. To know more about how to use it, click here!
This particular test involves a combination of saliva and nasal swabs which is less intrusive than the PT-PCR test. By testing both nasal and saliva swab samples, it has a higher detection rate as compared to saliva or nasal swab alone. Each kit comes with some disposable swabs to be used for a single test, a waste bag to ensure safe disposal, as well as an extraction buffer tube and dripper for the nasal and saliva swabs after collection.
This self-test kit also has a special QR code supported by the MySejahtera and mySALIXIUM apps which are cleverly designed to allow every single test result to be reported, tracked, and traced. In effect, it enables traceability of the manufacturing site to the users in addition to facilitating automatic reporting to the MOH Malaysia.
The results can be obtained in around 15 minutes. The Salixium Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test is 91% accurate in producing positive results and 100% accurate in detecting negative results. Do note that it has a shelf life of about 18 months so best to always check the expiry date before use! Click here to learn more about its use.
Produced by Hangzhou AllTest Biotech, similar to the self-tests kit discussed, the JusChek Covid-19 Saliva Self-Test RTK utilises saliva samples and is inclusive of a test device, a buffer to keep the samples, a collection device, and a biosafety bag to ensure safe disposal. This brand of the device has a sensitivity rate of 90.33% and a specificity rate of 100%. Noted to have high accuracy, this MOH and MDA-approved self-test kit can produce rapid results in approximately 15 minutes as well! To understand more about how to use it, click here.
This brand of self-test kit was also manufactured by Hangzhou AllTest Biotech in China and is a test that uses oral fluid samples. It has a sensitivity rate of 91.38% and a specificity rate of 100%. While the ALLTest Covid-19 Antigen Rapid Test can be performed at any time of the day, it is recommended to collect the first oral fluid in the morning for better detection and more accurate results. Like the other self-test kits, it also takes approximately 15 minutes before it generates a result. If you're curious about how to use it, click here!
I’ve done the test and obtained a result. What do I do now?
Depending on your results and the presence of symptoms, you may be required to immediately visit a COVID-19 Assessment Centre or a health clinic. In certain cases, you may be advised to repeat the test after a few days. Learn more about what to do after receiving your COVID-19 self-test results and how to report your results to MOH, by visiting our other articles that explore the topics in greater depth. A good tip is that whenever in doubt, it is always best to bring along your results and consult a healthcare professional to ascertain your condition.