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KJ: We Should No Longer Depend on PCR Tests and Should Instead Rely on RTK Tests


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We’re all well aware of how expensive Covid-19 tests such as PCR can add up to be in comparison with the standard RTK self test kits.

But there seems to be even more reasons why you should not depend on PCR tests and instead rely more on RTK tests.

Minister of Health, Khairy Jamaluddin recently explained the reasons why in a video he posted on Monday (14 March).

Screenshot 1076


PCRs are expensive

Although PCR tests are generally proven to be much more accurate than the RTK-Ag test kits, in his video, Khairy stated that PCR tests are extremely expensive.

“1stly, the PCR tests are more costly and by contrast, the RTK-Ag self-test kits are cheaper and more easily available.”

Furthermore, he explained that according to experts, the RTK-Ag tests are sufficient to detect positive cases with higher infectivity rates, compared to the PCR tests that are more sensitive.



“Even people who have recovered from their infection could still test positive under the RT-PCR tests,” he added.

PCR tests are able to detect the most minute traces of the virus, even in people who have recovered and are no longer infectious which will lead to a situation where you’d get a positive test result but you’d no longer need to quarantine anymore.


Time is of the essence

In his 2nd point, Khairy said that PCR tests take a longer time to generate results, while RTK-Ag tests would produce results in 15 minutes.

With PCR, you’ll have to wait up to 24 hours for your results. In the age of the Omicron variant, which is highly infectious and spreads very quickly, speed is everything.

Using Self Test Kit


“In the current situation, with the highly infectious Omicron variant, the RTK-Ag tests are more effective as it reduces the waiting time to identify a positive case,” Khairy continued.

“So, it is better for 1,000 people tested with RTK-Antigen compared to 10 people who undergo RT-PCR.”


Quality of RTK tests

On the quality of RTK tests, Khairy urged the Medical Device Authority (MDA) to continue making efforts to monitor the quality of various self-test kits currently in circulation.

He also said that people who test positive through RTK kits don’t need to verify their result with an additional PCR test. Instead, they should undergo quarantine as soon as they test positive.

However, the need for PCR tests will remain for people who wish to travel abroad, especially as Malaysia readies itself for a reopening on 1 April, 2022.

Watch the video below:

Memasuki fasa peralihan ke endemik bermula 1 April akan datang, kita perlu mengurangkan kebergantungan kepada ujian PCR dan mengutamakan ujian RTK-Antigen dalam menjalani kehidupan seharian.Di sini saya kongsikan beberapa faktor mengapa ujian RTK-Antigen perlu menjadi rujukan kita sekarang.

Posted by Khairy Jamaluddin on Monday, March 14, 2022


Will you be relying less on PCR tests? Let us know in the comments.


Also read: M’sians Are Sharing How Being Infected With Covid-19 is Extremely Costly

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