Tuesday, October 26

‘Do not take RTK test for Covid-19 without doctor’s advice’

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The RTK test which detects antibodies, cannot detect the virus and it is administered for quick confirmation. As such it cannot help in the detection of initial Covid-19 cases. File Photo

KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry (KKM) has called on the people not to undergo rapid test kit (RTK) test arbitrarily without seeking the advice of medical practitioners.

Health director-general, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this is because it has the potential to give wrong interpretation from the result obtained.

“The test via RTK technique which is now available in the market is to detect antibodies produced by the body as a result of an infection. The antibodies will appear in the body in five to eight days after infection.

“The RTK test which detects antibodies, cannot detect the virus and it is administered for quick confirmation. As such it cannot help in the detection of initial Covid-19 cases. Therefore, RTK test is not recommended for diagnosing Covid-19,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Elaborating further, Dr Noor Hisham said KKM is using the Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) technique at government health laboratories to detect the presence of Covid-19 virus found in the body of patients.

If the rRT-PCR Covid-19 test is found positive, it means the individual has been infected by Covid-19 virus .

“The result of the rRT-PCR technique is very important in managing Covid-19 patients effectively,” he said.

In this regard, Dr Noor Hisham advised the people not to discriminate members of the tabligh congregation following the spread of Covid-19 from the cluster and should in fact assist KKM in tracing close contacts among them.

“We should not blame tabligh members, do not discriminate them, we should not stigmatise the tabligh congregation. What is important is for us to assist, trace and treat Covid-19 infection among tabligh members, their families and their contacts,” he said.

Apart from that. Dr Noor Hisham said KKM is cooperating with MERCY Malaysia to provide psychosocial support to the people especially frontliners and individuals emotionally affected by COVID-19.

They can obtain the service by contacting 011-63996482 / 011-63994236 / 03-29359935 from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm daily.

Members of the public can also contact the virtual health advisory team for a webinar session daily from 9 am onwards at http://www.doctoroncall.com.my/coronavirus. – Bernama