Authorities have authorized the use of Rapid Diagnostic Test – Antigen RDT for Covid-19 diagnosis but warn it must be only used by trained medical workers.
“Previously, due to its limitations, we didn’t suggest its use. However these days the outbreak is spreading so we only recommend it for those who really have symptoms, especially at factories, or in remote areas and it must be used by trained medical workers, who know how to collect samples, how to dispose it and how to test,” said Director General of the Centre for Laboratory and Epidemiology, Ministry of Health, Dr Phonepadith Sangxayalath.
The RDT is easy to use and fast. Its test results can be available within 15-20 minutes and no laboratory is needed. However it has many limitations, especially with respect to precision.
It can only be used at a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius and lower and it needs to be disposed properly after use as the virus may contaminate the place where samples have been collected, and finally it can be transmitted, according to Dr Phonepadith.
“When its test result suggests no infection, it doesn’t mean we are not infected. The virus load may be low so we cannot find the virus. The negative result may be attributed to our inappropriate testing or inappropriate collection of the sample,” Dr Phonepadith said.
Source: Lao News Agency