Is Rapid Test for Covid-19 accuracy good or is it just better than nothing?

Is Rapid Test for Covid-19 accuracy good or is it just better than nothing?

Rapid Test Accuracy – Everyone must be aware and familiar with this term “Rapid Test” since this coronavirus outbreak started in November 2019. Rapid test for Corona Virus is an early screening to detect an antibody (IgM and IgG which produced by body to fight the Corona virus).1

As a commoner, some people also heard about when the rapid test in some countries is not very accurate while other countries even could state their rapid test accuracy is better. Wondering if it is because of the equipment in some countries is sufficient or not. The WHO supports a policy of widespread testing. But policies around the world vary and there seem to be arguments in support of the different approaches – largely due to supplies, shortages and priorities. Todd Pollack, MD – Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Country Director for the Partnership for Health Advancement in Vietnam, a Harvard Medical School Global Program – explain some of what we know about testing for COVID-19. He mentioned a number of different strategies that depend on a few things. First is the state of the epidemic in the country or community. Second is the availability of testing resources – both the test kits themselves (or the swabs) and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers, who are required to wear these in order to take the sample from patients.2

For this, definitely we need to know how the rapid test really works and why it is not accurate sometimes, because it can appear as negative to people without sign and symptom. Indonesian government has admitted that the rapid test isn’t too accurate and plan to increase real-time Reverse Transcriptase Polimerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) to detect the virus in RNA molecule (PCR Test) by taking sample from nose and throat mucous.3

Apart from the less accurate statement, the advantages of this rapid test besides it takes a shorter time and cheaper, rapid test kits appear to be the best options for countries aiming to do large-scale, mass testing, and there’s a long list of these types of kits waiting for validation and regulatory approval.4 Hospitals in Bali even have administered this rapid test and charge around 300K – 450K Rupiahs.

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Resources:

  1. https://www.alodokter.com/kenali-apa-itu-rapid-test-untuk-virus-corona
  2. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/to-test-or-not-to-test-2-experts-explain-covid-19-testing/
  3. https://theconversation.com/memahami-cara-kerja-rapid-test-covid-19-yang-hasilnya-bisa-tidak-akurat-135211
  4. https://www.devex.com/news/a-look-at-covid-19-testing-and-why-country-wide-is-impossible-right-now-96842