Rapid antigen test push accelerates in hospitals as contagion spreads
The Public Health Ministry is accelerating its rapid antigen test push in a bid to speed up detection of cases amid soaring Covid-19 infections.
The rapid testing drive was discussed by medical agencies on Thursday, said Medical Sciences Department director-general Dr Supakit Sirilak. Thursday saw a record daily high of 7,058 infections and 75 deaths.
Thailand’s Food and Drugs Agency (FDA) has approved 24 brands of rapid antigen test kits for use in hospitals and testing centres.
Supakit said authorities are now considering whether to make the rapid test kits available for home use, but warned they were not 100 per cent accurate.
“Please understand that a negative rapid test result does not mean you are completely non-infectious,” he said. Meanwhile, those who test positive may need a RT-PCR test to confirm infection, he added.
He also gave the following guidelines for rapid antigen testing:
Suspected cases with no symptoms whose antigen test is negative should self-isolate at home and then take another rapid test a few days later. If they test positive, the result must be confirmed by an RT-PCR test.
However, at-risk groups and people with symptoms should take an RT-PCR test straight away, said Supakit. Medical units facing high demand could give rapid antigen tests first, though, he added.