Self-testing for Covid-19

Self-testing for Covid-19
July 23, 2021 Editorial Reszon

Nigel Aw – Jul 23, 2021 6:34 AM Source: Malaysia Kini

Self-testing for Covid-19

Beginning this month, Putrajaya adopted a more liberal Covid-19 testing policy by approving self-testing kits.

To date, three antigen rapid test kits have been approved:

1) Salixium (91.4% sensitivity; 100% specificity) – Saliva and nasal swab (Malaysia)

2) Gmate (90.9% sensitivity; 100% specificity) – Saliva (South Korea)

3) Beright (90.1% sensitivity; 99.3% specificity) – Saliva (China)

How to make sense of the performance metrics? Sensitivity means the rate at which the kit will correctly identify a positive result while specificity means the rate at which it will correctly detect negative results.

91.4 percent sensitivity means out of 100 tests, 8.6 of them could be false negatives. 100 percent specificity means there won’t be any false positives.

Errors can be minimised by taking more than one test. You should note that these test kits are not authoritative tools to confirm if you have Covid-19.

It serves as a guide for you to decide if you need to get an RT-PCR test, the gold standard for Covid-19 testing, but also a pricier option.

The Salixium and Gmate kits are fixed at around RM39.90 with discounts for bulk purchases. Beright will go on sale in the near future.

While the first two are already widely sold on shopping platforms, it is advisable to order from the website of a reliable pharmacy to avoid fake products.