The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has launched an automated system for ordering the Covid-19 antigen rapid test kits to speed up distribution and delivery. However, the test kits are only available to public and private institutions, and not to the general public yet.
“Through this system, buyers will receive information on their orders and available supplies as well as payment methods. They will get a receipt via Telegram bot,” it said in a notice on July 11.
To submit an order, buyers must go to mptc.gov.kh/rt and follow the instructions on the web page. Once the order is placed, the buyer will receive a message about the delivery date. Orders are processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
He said that with the previous order system, buyers had to wait until availability of the device was confirmed before the ministry could process their purchases.
“The new system notifies buyers instantly,” Visothy said.
The government imports the rapid test kits from South Korea and sells them at $3.70 per unit, the ministry website said.
Institutions that place orders are required to submit a letter of request setting out specific staff numbers. Priority is given to establishments with more staff members and those located in Covid-19 high-risk areas. If necessary, the ministry will contact the authorities to verify the information.
Ministry secretary of state Sok Visothy told The Post on July 11 that the ministry has received purchases from various institutions.
The ministry is not allowing individuals to order the rapid test devices. If people want to be tested, they can go to a designated testing site approved by the Ministry of Health.
“Rapid test kits are only for use on employees. It is absolutely forbidden to redistribute or resell them,” it said.
According to Sothy, the ministry had sold hundreds of thousands of Covid-19 rapid test kits so far. He said public and private institutions have ordered around 400,000 more, but they have not yet arrived in Cambodia.
Ken Ratha, head of the ministry’s administration and finance general department, told The Post on July 12 that 4,000 kits had already arrived at the ministry and 5,000 more were expected to arrive this week.
He said the ministry ordered the kits in order to help the government in tracking sources of infections and breaking the chain of transmission, especially to prevent the disease from spreading at the ministry itself.
“When we have those rapid test kits, it is easy for us to prevent transmission. It can help us a lot because if a staff member has Covid-19, he or she may have contact with other people and then we have to test them,” he said.
According to Ratha, his ministry also purchased the Chinese traditional medicine Lianhua Qingwen capsules to give to officials who are at risk of contracting the virus.
As of July 7 the health ministry had approved four types of rapid tests device, including the ABBOTT PANBIOth Covid-19 Ag RAPID Test Device, Roche SARS-Cov-2 Rapid Antigen Test 25T, Standard Q Covid-19 Ag Test and INDICAID Covid-19 Rapid Antigen Test.