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COVID-19 Rapid Test 'Not Recommended' as Standalone Tool, DOH Says

Stick to the 'gold standard' swab test.
by John Paulo Aguilera
Aug 19, 2020
Photo/s: Menchie Abalos | Facebook

The Department of Health said Wednesday it was not recommending rapid tests as stand-alone screening method for COVID-19, as roughly a quarter of the population shfited to a GCQ with fewer restrictions.

Rapid tests should not be used for diagnosis, screening, return to work decisions and travel entry decisions, the DOH said. The RT-PCR or swab test is still the "gold standard" for detecting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

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Rapid tests have "low sensitive and high false negative rates, as well as uncertainties to its connection to immunity," the DOH said. A rapid test detects antibodies in the blood while the RT-PCR detects the virus in samples taken from the nose or throat.

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Citing the World Health Organization, the DOH said rapid tests should be done "in research settings (and) clinical decision-making" until evidence supporting use for specific indications is available."

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