IATF approves pilot study of antigen tests for screening local travelers
MANILA, Philippines — The government’s COVID-19 task force has approved the conduct of pilot studies on using antigen tests to detect the novel coronavirus among local travelers.
According to a resolution released Friday, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Infectious Diseases allowed authorities to use antigen tests “for border screening and serial testing in high-risk to low-risk interzonal travel” in the Philippines.
Earlier, the IATF already allowed the use of antigen tests as a substitute for the gold-standard real-time polymerase chain reaction tests when traveling to local destinations.
According to the Department of Health, antigen tests use nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab for the collection of specimens but it uses laboratory or health care settings for validation of results.
If antigen tests show positive results, it means there are “presumptive COVID-19” but if it yields negative results, it means COVID-19 is unlikely.
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