These rapid test kits can now be bought over the counter for use at home and though they produce results faster than the RT-PCR method, they can also be false and inaccurate results.
A false positive can be caused by contamination, the presence of another virus or an incorrect examination procedure. However, those whose ATK result is positive – be it false or not – will still have to undergo an RT-PCR test.
The ATK may also provide a false negative because it cannot detect low amounts of the virus, so the person may be infected and can transmit the virus to others.
The kits can be purchased from pharmacies that have a pharmacist present and have registered with the Thai Food and Drug Administration.
Each brand of the test kit is different and uses different samples, such as from the nasal cavity, the nasopharyngeal cavity or saliva.
Users are advised to carefully read and understand the instructions before using and dispose of the kit properly after use.
If the ATK provides a positive reading, the patient can choose to isolate at home or call the 1330 hotline for removal to a community isolation centre.
If the ATK test is negative, people should monitor themselves for symptoms and strictly adhere to prevention measures to avoid infecting others.
Published : August 25, 2021
By : The Nation