Gov’t considering home testing for Covid-19

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At home test kits

The Government is exploring the possibility of home testing for Covid-19, as cases continue to surge in the country. On Wednesday, President Irfaan Ali called a press conference during which Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony and other senior health personnel addressed various aspects of managing the deadly virus.

“Yesterday [Tuesday], we saw a large number [of persons] turning up to be tested. In many developed jurisdictions now, they are not giving everyone the test as part of their management protocol, and they are encouraging home tests now, the use of home kits as part of their response agenda, and this is something we have to look at also,” President Ali said.

According to the United States’ Centre for Disease Control, self-tests also known as home tests or over-the-counter tests, detect current coronavirus infections, not antibodies to the virus, and are used as a risk reduction measure.

A positive self-test result means that the test detected the virus, and you are very likely to have an infection, while a negative self-test result means that the test did not detect the virus and you may not have an infection.

However, the results will not be completely accurate. Repeating the test within a few days, with at least 24 hours between tests, will increase the confidence that you are not infected. The kit comes with two tests if a follow-up test is needed. President Ali said the cost associated with procurement and supply are being explored.

He added, “There are still issues in the supply chain to see our local capacity and that is what we are analysing now in terms of the home testing. It is definitely something that is being discussed because we know, based on what we are reading and what is happening that the need for testing would increase. People are going to become concerned with the slightest of symptoms and they are going to want to be tested so that would increase.”


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