BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN — Some 200,000 COVID-19 antigen rapid test (ART) kits will be available at authorised stores and pharmacies soon, a Ministry of Health (MoH) official said.

In an interview with The Scoop, Director of Laboratory Services Dr Hjh Surita Hj Mohamad Taib said the self-test kits approved by the ministry will be sold in the market to increase public access.

A total of 500,000 antigen rapid test (ART) kits and personal protective equipment (PPE)  arrived in Brunei from Hong Kong on Friday night.

Brunei LNG chartered two flights to bring in the ART self-test kits and donated 100,000 units of Innovita test kits to the Ministry of Health.

Earlier this month, MoH approved the use of nine self-test kits in the market. 

However, Dr Hjh Surita said the public should exercise caution when using ART self-test kits. 

“We want them to understand that the self-test kit is just a screening tool, and should not be used for diagnostic purposes.

“Individuals who have a positive result in their ART self-test should get a PCR test immediately and isolate themselves until they receive their result,” she added.

Retail prices of these self-test kits range from $11 to $15.

Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Hj Maswadi Hj Mohsin received the contribution from Brunei LNG Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Hjh Farida Dato Seri Paduka Hj Talib at the Brunei International Air Cargo Centre (BIACC).

In a press statement, Brunei LNG said the donation of test kits was part of its corporate social responsibility to support the government’s fight against COVID-19.

It added that the donation was made possible through contributions from staff and the company after setting up the BLNGolden Hearts COVID-19 Support Fund last year.