(KPL) The Ministry of Health has banned individuals, legal entities and private businesses from importing and using Antigen based Rapid Diagnostic Test (AgRDT) kits for Covid-19 tests and sale in the country without permission from relevant authorities.
“Right now, the Ministry of Health is focusing on surveillance and treatment efforts because the outbreak has an increasing trend and is spreading to many provinces. The number of infections is rising and spreading to communities,” said Director General of the Food and Drug Department, Ministry of Health, Bounsou Keohavong.
He insists the rapid test kits can be used only by competent public health providers and in compliance with the test capacity building strategy of the public health sector. Yet the relevant sector will consider the authorization of the use of AgRDT for state development projects and industrial parks where a number of workers are employed.
The low-cost rapid test kit has numerous limitations including low sensitivity which tends to lead to giving false negative results and low specificity which tends to result in cross-reaction and consequently false positive.
Testing too early or too late with AgRDT can also yield false negative result, according to Dr Bounsou Keohavong.
There are 84 companies authorized to import the rapid test kit. These include 18 pharmaceutical product importers, 35 medical equipment importers and, 31 drug and medical equipment importers.
Source: Lao News Agency