Malaysian Government sets Fees for Covid-19 Detection Tests *Update*

We had previously issued an alert on the fees for Covid-19 detection tests which came into effect on 29 June 2020 through the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases (Fee for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) Detection Test) Regulations 2020 (“Covid-19 Fees Regulations”).

The Health Minister has subsequently announced on 3 July 20201 that the following three groups of people returning to Malaysia are exempted from the fees for Covid-19 detection tests:
  1.  Government servants returning to Malaysia after performing official duties;

  2.  Persons with disabilities; and

  3.  Malaysian students returning to the country for the first time.
To qualify for such exemption:
  • Government servants are required to produce an official letter related to their work overseas;

  • persons with disabilities will have to produce a valid people with disability (OKU) card issued by the Social Welfare Department; and

  • Malaysian students, with or without sponsorship, returning for the first time, will be required to show proof of their studying status.
Process and types of test to be used
According to a media report on 07 July 20202, the Health Ministry was reported as having stated the following:
  • Returnees are required to install and register with the Government’s MySejahtera app3 before returning to Malaysia, whereby essential information (such as travel date and time, flight information, port of embarkation, seat numbers and health declaration) is to be registered in the MySejahtera app at least one day before the date of departure; and

  • Upon arrival at the point of entry, returnees will be required to undergo a thermal scanning and symptom screening and an antigen test. However, returnees who provide valid polymerase chain reaction Covid-19 test results will be exempted from the antigen test.
The Health Minister was reported to have said in the earlier news report that the Government will use the polymerase chain reaction technique (“PCR”) or the antigen rapid test kit depending on suitability at international entry points and Health Ministry’s facilities.4 However, according to the subsequent news report5, the Health Ministry stated that returnees must take the antigen test.6
Returnees tested positive for Covid-19 will be referred to the Covid-19 referral hospital, regardless of whether they exhibit symptoms and regardless of nationality.
The antibody rapid test will be used on individuals on the 13th day of their quarantine at home before they can be released from the quarantine order the following day.
The fees and types of Covid-19 detection tests from the Covid-19 Fees Regulations are reproduced below:
Type of Covid-19 Detection Test Citizen
Polymerase chain reaction 150 250
Antigen rapid test kit 60 120
Antibody rapid test kit 30 60
Alert prepared by Ebbie Wong (Associate) of Skrine.

1 ‘Three groups exempted from paying for Covid-19 tests’, The Star Online, 3 July 2020.
2 ‘Returnees must take Covid-19 antigen rapid test’, The Star Online. 7 July 2020.
3 MySejahtera is an application developed by the Government of Malaysia to assist in monitoring Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
4 Three groups exempted from paying for Covid-19 tests’, The Star Online, 3 July 2020.
5 ‘Returnees must take Covid-19 antigen rapid test’, The Star Online. 7 July 2020.
6 The antigen test is reportedly faster than PCR to test the presence of ongoing infection, although PCR would be the ‘gold standard’ to test for the same.