RTK-Antigen use considered for entry requirement

KUCHING: The use of RTK-Antigen is being considered to replace the rT-PCR swab test as one of the entry requirements to Bintulu.

Bintulu MP Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing said he had discussed with the Bintulu Division Health Office (DHO) on the use of the test kit due complaints of rT-PCR swab tests being too costly.

“Due to many viewing that the cost of rT-PCR test is expensive and burdening, I will discuss with the Bintulu DHO on relaxing the requirement to the use of RTK-Antigen and whether this meets the needed accuracy,” he said on Wednesday (Aug 4).

Tiong at the same time, recommended that the Bintulu Division Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) review the preventive measures for entry into Bintulu based on swab tests to prevent the spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19.

“We must tighten some parts of the standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure it serves as a people’s safety net, however, my suggestion led to criticism on social media.

“Some people still think that there are only ten more new cases, there is little need to implement the SOP as before,” he said.

The MP said increasing number of cases seemed that the people do not appear to take the pandemic seriously despite repeated calls for employers to practice strict SOPs in the workplace.

He said an example of this was the outbreak at a factory in Kidurong which led to the emergence of a new cluster.

“I hope the companies will actively work with the Bintulu DHO and provide accurate reports on the whereabouts of its employees on a regular basis, to assist the relevant parties in detecting and finding the source of infection,” he said.

Tiong said Bintulu will not be fully free from the pandemic without the cooperation of the private sector in the anti-pandemic fight.