Samuel Chua – July 24, 2021 10:00 AM Source: Free Malaysia Today
PETALING JAYA: As Malaysia grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, getting tested for the virus will soon become easy with the launch of self-test kits.
The health ministry recently approved the import and distribution of two Covid-19 self-test kits for public use.
This was done through the Medical Devices Authority (MDA), an agency under the health ministry that is in charge of enforcing medical device regulations and registration.
One of those kits, Salixium, is made in Malaysia by Shah Alam-based health technology company MeDKAD Sdn Bhd.
According to MeDKAD project manager Syahriah Razak, Salixium is an RTK (Rapid Test Kit) Antigen test that uses immunochromatography technology to detect the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 antigen in human saliva and anterior nasal swab specimens.
She described it as the first product of its kind in the Malaysian market, with all research and development done in MeDKAD’s laboratory in Technology Park Malaysia. The manufacturing process was also developed in the country.
Salixium has a sensitivity of 91.23% and a specificity of 100%.
According to Syahriah, the kit is user-friendly and non-invasive.
She said MeDKAD worked in collaboration with Reszon Diagnostic and the goal was to “locally manufacture a self-testing rapid antigen test kit, which uses saliva and nasal swab, to make it accessible to all Malaysians”.
“We hope it will provide first-tier protection or defence against Covid-19 as early detection will help to reduce the spread of this virus to the community,” she added.
Each Salixium kit contains one Covid-19 Rapid Antigen test device, one extraction buffer tube and dripper, two disposable swabs, one waste bag and an instruction paper.
Those using the kit should not eat, smoke, chew or drink anything except plain water 30 minutes before the test.
They have to wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds using soap and water. Alternatively, they can use a hand sanitiser.
Here are the instructions on doing the test:
To start, take out the extraction buffer tube and insert it into a designated tube holder. 1. Peel off the aluminium seal, but be careful not to spill the liquid.
2. Take one disposable swab and swab the fabric tip on the inside of your left cheek up and down at least five times. Repeat this for your right cheek and your palate.
3. Put the swab into the extraction tube.
4. Next, remove another disposable swab, insert the fabric tip into one nostril until you feel a slight resistance, approximately 2cm up your nose. You will want to roll the swab around the inside of the nostril, making five complete circles. Then do the same for the other nostril.
5. Put the second swab into the same extraction tube.
6. Make sure that the swab heads are completely immersed in the liquid in the tube and shake vigorously at least 10 times.
7. After that, squeeze the liquid from both swabs to keep the solution in the tube as much as possible and discard the swabs in the waste bag. Be sure to seal the zipper bag completely.
8. Cover the tube firmly and mix the sample solution thoroughly.
9. The next thing you need to do is gently tear open the pouch and remove the test device. You’ll see two lines on the device, the control line (C) and test line (T).
10. Lay the device on a clean, flat surface and label it. Add two drops of the sample solution to the sample well, making sure there are no air bubbles.
The sample will start wicking up the membrane and you’ll get your result within 15 minutes.
How you should look at your result?
Syahriah said two coloured lines on the C and T test lines would indicate a Covid-19 infection. If this is your result, you need to consult a healthcare professional immediately. A PCR test may be required to confirm your result.
You should meanwhile self-isolate to prevent spreading the virus to others.
If there’s only one coloured band on the C line, it means the virus is not detected. However, if no coloured band appears on the C line, it means the result is invalid and you should repeat the test with a new device.
How much does a Salixium self-test kit cost and where is it sold?
According to Syahriah, the Salixium Covid-19 Antigen self-test kit costs RM39.90 and is available at registered pharmacies and health facilities. You can also visit Salixium’s website at www.salixium.com to purchase one.