DOH: No need to ban rapid testing but it should not be used for screening
MANILA, Philippines — While rapid antibody testing should not be used for screening people for COVID-19, the Department of Health is not proposing a total ban on it as it can still be used for recovering coronavirus patients.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Monday said the rapid antibody testing should just be used appropriately for it to be effective.
It can be used to determine whether or not COVID-19 patients have recovered from the deadly respiratory disease.
“Hindi naman kailangan i-ban kasi may gamit pa rin naman siya dito sa ating response,” she told reporters in an online media forum.
(The rapid antibody test does not need to be banned because it still has its uses.)
“Pwedeng gamiting ang rapid test doon sa mga pasyente na nakarecover na o pwede na ma-tag as recovered,” she added.
(It can be used on patients who have recovered or can be tagged as recovered.)
However, the rapid antibody test kits should not be used as screening for possible COVID-19 patients as they only detect antibodies in the body and not the coronavirus itself.
It is only after five to seven days after the onset of illness before the rapid antibody test could be useful, Vergeire said.
The rapid antibody test is also not a stand-alone test and should be confirmed by a swab test.
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