Health Ministry to regulate e-commerce sales of COVID-19 test kits

TEMPO.CO, JakartaHealth Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin said the health ministry would regulate the rampant sales of COVID-19 antigen tests by the box in e-commerce. The test kits are selling well because the prices are relatively affordable and people can do the tests independently.

“We are preparing rules for the home auto-PCR test. We also don’t want everyone selling these items that could harm consumers,” Budi said in an online press conference on Monday, February 21.

Budi claimed that not all rapid antigen test kits sold in online stores are fakes despite their cheap prices. The ministry even tried several brands’ test kits and the results were quite accurate.

“We have tested several brands and they are correct. We will publicly announce [the brands]“, added Budi.

As Tempo Observed on several e-commerce platforms, retail sales of antigen test kits are indeed in high demand among the public, as evidenced by the number of sales that have reached thousands of units. A kit is offered at just Rp 19,000, much cheaper than having the same test at a health facility which costs Rp 40,000 to 85,000.

The most purchased brand of COVID-19 antigen test is called LUNGENE. A kit is priced at Rp 19,000 or Rp 455,000 per box of 25 kits. It was recorded that at least 7,700 people made the purchase and almost all of them gave the product a five-star rating.

Read: Ministry of Health responds to costly PCR tests in Mandalika


Maria J. Book