Regular Covid-19 testing mooted for those who refuse vaccines: Malaysian health minister

In a photo from July 12, 2021, people wait in line to be tested for Covid-19 in Seri Kembangan. PHOTO: REUTERS

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Those who refuse the Covid-19 vaccines may have to undergo regular testing, says Malaysian health minister Khairy Jamaluddin.

"Those who refuse to get vaccinated will have to undergo a certain schedule or regime of testing that they have to adhere to. They may have to take a rapid test. If it is positive, then they have to do a PCR test," said the health minister.

"Of course, I would prefer that people opt to be vaccinated," he added.

He said this could help address the issue of individuals who are against Covid-19 vaccinations. Mr Khairy added that for now, the ministry does not intend to make vaccination mandatory.

"It's not a law or federal mandate. But if a company says you have to be vaccinated to come to work, then you need to be vaccinated," he said.

He also said that as the country moves into an endemic phase, a national testing strategy would be introduced where the public will undergo Covid-19 tests regularly.

"Once we enter the endemic phase, whether you have been vaccinated or not, you need to test yourself quite regularly. For this, we intend to make testing more affordable and more accessible," he said.

Mr Khairy added that Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi would be announcing soon a ceiling price for Covid-19 self-test kits.

At present, there are 11 brands of Covid-19 self-test kits that have been approved by the ministry for public use.

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