16 July 2020
It is effective to use the rapid test kit antigen (RTK-Ag) at the airports to screen those entering Malaysia for Covid-19, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.
Dr Noor Hisham said the sensitivity of the RTK Antigen used at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and klia2 was about 90 per cent.
“There is no 100 per cent test, 100 per cent sensitivity and 100 per cent specificity, no such test available. The RTK testing at 90 per cent is in fact very good as previously we had some tests with only 30, 40 or 50 per cent.
“Advantage of RTK-Ag is that it can be done within 45 minutes as compared to RT-PCR that takes six hours and needs 96 samples to run the test,” he said in the daily Covid-19 press conference, here, today.
He said this was why the RTK-Ag was used as it was faster and cost effective than the RT-PCR.
The Sarawak Disaster Management Committee said last Wednesday that five individuals were tested positive through the RT-PCR test upon landing in Sarawak, despite earlier testing negative for the novel coronavirus with the RTK Antigen at KLIA when they returned to Malaysia from overseas.
“There is no proof to conclude this is a false negative. If the patient is asymptomatic and in incubation period, the virus load is not high, the RTK-Ag cannot detect it. If (we) were to do RT-PCR, maybe the result will also be negative.
“That’s the reason why we insist on the mandatory home quarantine,” he said.