Salixium, the first Malaysian-made COVID-19 rapid antigen self-testing kit by MeDEKAD Sdn Bhd (MeDEKAD), will be made available to the public today, 19 July
According to MeDEKAD’s Facebook post yesterday, 18 July, Salixium is the only publicly available self-test kit that is in collaboration with MySejahtera.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) released a press statement by the Medical Devices Authority (MDA) chief executive Ahmad Shariff Hambali on Thursday, 15 July, endorsing Salixium.
He said that Salixium is one of the two self-test kits that is approved by the MDA and is verified by the Halal Verification and Consultation Laboratories (Halvec).
However, Ahmad Shariff said that these self-test kits do not replace the real-time diagnostic function of the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test
He said that the self-test kits can be used by the public to conduct self-screening to get results on their COVID-19 infection status quickly and easily before further action is taken.
This is to help facilitate the detection and control of COVID-19 infection while helping reduce the burden of health workers.
According to The Star, Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS) president Amrahi Buang said the COVID-19 self-test kits can only be used for screening and not as a diagnostics tool.
“If the self-test kits give you a positive result, then there must be a follow up with a RT-PCR test,” he said, adding that this will help eliminate false positives.
According to MeDEKAD, the self-test kit uses saliva and nasal samples to detect the presence or absence of the SARS-CoV-2 antigen
MeDEKAD project manager Syahriah Razak said the rapid test takes 10 to 15 minutes to perform and the result is judged by visible bands which confirm the presence of the antigen, according to Bernama.
“The presence or absence of the SARS-CoV-2 antigen in the sample will be indicated by a pink-purplish band appearing in the test region. If the sample does not contain the SARS-CoV-2 antigen, no colour will appear at the test region, indicating a negative test result,” Syahriah said in a statement.
A total of 242 saliva or nasal swab samples were tested with Salixium and the results showed that the sensitivity was 91.23% and the specificity at 100%, according to the statement.
Besides Malaysia, Salixium has been widely used in France, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates, specifically in Dubai.
MOH also tweeted an infographic yesterday of the two COVID-19 self-test kits that have obtained conditional approval for import and distribution in Malaysia
The other MOH-approved self-test kit is the Gmate COVID-19 Ag Saliva for Home Use by Philosys Co Ltd, Korea.
These test kits can be sold at registered community pharmacies or health facilities and the list will be updated from time to time.
Currently, the Salixium can be bought on the MeDEKAD website at only RM39.90.