There’s no need to ban the use of rapid antibody testing in the country, the Health Department said but cautioned against using this form of testing to screen people for potential coronavirus infection.
Health organizations sounded the alarm about the use of rapid antibody testing, warning that tests could establish a false sense of security that may have led to the spread of the virus.
But DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that rapid antibody testing should be used properly to make them successful. Rapid tests detect the presence of antibodies in the blood of people who felt COVID-19 contracted. Repeat tests using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests (RT-PCR) or swab tests are no longer necessary under the country’s current discharge and recovery requirements for confirmed coronavirus cases.
But the health official stressed that fast antibody tests could not be used to screen COVID-19 for men. RT-PCR testing in coronavirus testing is considered to be the “gold standard”. The government also tracks the use of antigen tests, which easily identify protein fragments contained on or inside the virus by using swabs to check samples obtained from the nasal cavity. While testing for antigen may yield results in minutes, it is not as sensitive as testing for RT-PCR and may not detect all active infections.
Lastly, negative findings from an antigen test with RT-PCR tests can need to be checked.
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