MYEG clarified with the Malaysia Ministry of Health that their COVID-19 rapid test kits are genuine, and available for pre-order.
Find out what happened, and also why you should still WAIT until the dust settles…
MYEG COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits
On 17 March 2020, MYEG announced the availability of COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits :
You can now purchase your own home testing kit from us. It is an innovative way to detect the virus through blood samples. You can get the results within 15 minutes, no requirement for samples to be sent to laboratories. This Covid-19 Rapid Test Kit is developed by leading diagnostics company and approved by health authorities in China where it presently widely used.
MYEG is selling each COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits in packs of 10, for RM 990 – which works out to RM 99 per test kit.
Another online retailer is offering the same / similar COVID-19 Rapid Test Kit for just RM 69.90.
They are both not only much cheaper than current COVID-19 lab tests, but claim to be able to return results within 15 minutes.
MYEG COVID-19 Rapid Test Kits Are Genuine
After the Malaysia Ministry of Health called their COVID-19 rapid test kits fake news, MYEG quickly clarified the situation.
MYEG wishes to reiterate that, as announced previously, it is awaiting approval from local authorities for the COVID-19 rapid test kit. It is still pending certification from the Ministry of Health at this point in time.
With the requisite documents including regulatory filings, test reports and compliance certificates in place, the test kits have been cleared by health authorities in China and Europe, where they are already being widely used. Due to the pandemic emergency, most countries accept the Declaration of Conformity, with clinic trial report and all relevant supporting documents.
The Malaysia Ministry of Health has since removed their claim that these are fake rapid test kits.
Currently, these MYEG COVID-19 rapid test kits are available for pre-order, pending approval and certification by the Ministry of Health.
The same goes for the other COVID-19 rapid test kits available online :
- Nantong Egens 2019-nCoV Rapid Test (Malaysia)
- MYEG COVID-19 Rapid Test (Malaysia)
- ATETION COVID-19 IgM Rapid Test (US)
MYEG COVID-19 Rapid Test : How Does It Work?
COVID-19 rapid tests cut down time and costs by looking for antibodies to COVID-19 in a blood sample, instead of nasopharyngeal swab (NP) or oropharyngeal swab (OP).
The MYEG COVID-19 rapid test looks for both IgM – the first antibodies our body makes to fight a new infection, and IgG – the most abundant antibodies in the body.
To “fish” for COVID-19 specific IgM and/or IgG antibodies, these rapid test kits use selected parts of the COVID-19 capsule proteins as antigens – bait – which are combined with colloidal gold as a marker.
When you drop a blood sample, COVID-19 antibodies (if present in the blood) will be “attracted” to the “bait” – the COVID-19 capsule proteins in the rapid test.
The antibodies will combine with the antigens, forming a visible, coloured compound which will appear as a red / burgundy line in the test strip.
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MYEG COVID-19 Rapid Tests : Should You Buy Them?
COVID-19 rapid tests will no doubt be a real game changer – offering a convenient and affordable way for people to get tested.
However, it is critical that they are first tested and certified by health authorities, to ensure that they are reliable and accurate, especially when undertaken by the public who are not trained in taking blood samples.
Even though MYEG is offering the assurance that all-preorders of these test kits are fully refundable, we recommend waiting until they have been certified by the Malaysia Ministry of Health, before you purchase them.
We should also note that many health authorities are currently recommending AGAINST self-testing for COVID-19 at home :
Public Health England
Some manufacturers are selling products for the diagnosis of COVID-19 infection in community settings, such as pharmacies.
The current view by PHE is that use of these products is not advised:
- some of these products look for virus while others look for the body’s immune response to the virus. Such tests are very rapid and can work on a range of specimens including serum, plasma or finger-prick whole blood
- there is little information on the accuracy of the tests, or on how a patient’s antibody response develops or changes during COVID-19 infection. It is not known whether either a positive or negative result is reliable
- currently there is no published evidence about the suitability of these tests for diagnosing COVID-19 infection in a community setting
Peter White, UNSW Virologist
The tests are not always as reliable as those currently being used. Because rapid test kits look for antibodies associated with the virus rather than the virus itself, they could record false negatives if used at the wrong time.
The question is how significant those limitations are. It depends really on how many true cases you detect. Does it detect every positive, or does it miss 5%?
Bill Bowtell, Infectious Disease Expert, Kirby Institute
In the end, anybody with anything to sell is in the market and their interest is to make the biggest claims.
I think that’s the case with a lot of the things that we’ll see coming onto the market. There’s uncertainty because it didn’t come to market after stringent testing, it came to the market because there’s a feeling of ‘my god we need it’.
In normal circumstances you wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole but this is what happens when there’s a crisis.
It is also notable that, as of 9 March 2020, China denied that they approved any COVID-19 test kits for use by the public at home :
The Beijing Medical Products Administration denied rumors that claimed that people can test for the novel coronavirus using a home testing kit and added there was no authorized home version of the test yet.
A so-called home testing kit went viral on WeChat, with the seller claiming the result would be visible 15 minutes after adding a drop of blood from one’s finger to the kit. The product was recommended for office buildings and schools to test those returning and isolated at home who could not access a medical test at the hospital.
According to the administration, samples carried by authorized testing kits can only be tested in polymerase chain reaction (PCR) laboratories or other medical institutes. There is no self-testing device yet and those sold on WeChat are fake.
COVID-19 : How To Keep Safe!
Here are a few simple steps to stay safe from COVID-19 :
- Avoid suspected cases or disease hotpots, like hospitals, if possible!
- Avoid public events and crowds
- Keep our hands clean with soap or hand sanitiser
- Keep our home, office, vehicles, etc. clean
- If you need to wear a surgical mask, make sure you put it on and remove it properly!
- Thoroughly cook your food, and boil water before drinking
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