Saturday, June 19, 2021

Health ministry considering breath test to detect Covid-19

Dr Adham Baba also says approval will be given soon for the use of a self-test kit using deep throat saliva sampling.

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The health ministry is considering the use of a breath test which has been identified as the latest tool in order to detect Covid-19 in Malaysia.

Health Minister Dr Adham Baba said the Medical Device Authority will run a clinical test on the efficacy of the tool before giving approval for its use in the country.

“Right now, it is being widely tested in Singapore as a tool to detect Covid-19, and it should be explored for use in our country too,” he told a virtual press conference today.

On May 24, Bernama reported that an easy-to-use breath test that can accurately detect Covid-19 within a minute had received provisional authorisation from Singapore’s Health Sciences Authority.

The BreFence Go Covid-19 Breath Test System was developed by Breathonix Pte Ltd, a spin-off company from the National University of Singapore.

On the detection of Covid-19 through a self-test kit using deep throat saliva sampling, Adham said approval would be issued soon.

“Detection of Covid-19 using the deep throat saliva sampling is easy and can be done at home. It also has a high level of sensitivity and specificity,” he said.

The minister said once approved, members of the public would be able to purchase the kit at any pharmacy or supplier registered with the health ministry.

“If they test positive after using the self-test kit, they need to quarantine themselves and notify the nearest district health office or via the MySejahtera app,” he said.

Health director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah previously said the ministry was in the midst of identifying two companies that would supply the test kit.

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