Currently, under complicated epidemic situations, Hanoi city has deployed many epidemic prevention checkpoints at the capital’s gateway and most recently continued the social distancing following Directive 16 of the Prime Minister until the end of August 22.
Accordingly, the implementation of COVID-19 testing, especially rapid antigen testing, has become essential in epidemic prevention and control, as well as to ensure the operation of businesses are not affected.
In recent days, the number of searches on the internet about rapid test kits has increased, and the Ministry of Health has also issued a recommendation that people should not buy the kits online and try to conduct the quick test at home. This is due to the fact that there are several test kits floating online without guaranteed quality and accuracy that not only cause you to lose money, but also bear a potential risk of spreading disease to the community if you fully trust the result of these kits.
Dr. Pham Thuy Linh, who is currently managing the operation of the Laboratory of Hanoi Family Medical Practice, detailed about the SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test:
SARS-Cov-2 Rapid Antigen Test is an in vitro rapid diagnostic test for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus antigens in samples of nasopharyngeal, oropharyngeal fluid… of individuals meeting clinical and/or epidemiological criteria.
Rapid antigen is convenient to use, provides quick results within 30 minutes, can be used outside the laboratory, lower cost than Real Time RT-PCR test.
Rapid antigen testing is most effective within 5 to 7 days of symptom onset.
The SARS-CoV-2 virus antigen rapid test is not a substitute for the Realtime RT-PCR test. It should only be used for the purpose of supporting surveillance, detection and diagnosis of Covid 19 infection and is only performed by trained medical personnel, including training in biosafety as well as performing and interpreting test results. This is also the reason that individuals should not arbitrarily buy online rapid test kits and conduct the test at home.
Regarding SARS-CoV-2 rapid antigen test, the test kit must be licensed by the Ministry of Health or on the urgent list of the World Health Organization, FDA appraised and recommended. In addition, there are two indicators that laboratories often pay special attention to are sensitivity (the ability to detect the virus) and specificity (the accuracy of the test). In particular, as requested by the Ministry of Health, the sensitivity of the rapid test must reach ≥ 80% and the specificity must reach ≥ 97% compared to the Realtime RT-PCR test, which is evaluated by the Institutes of Hygiene and Epidemiology and the Pasteur Institute.
Currently, Family Medical Practice Hanoi Laboratory is using a rapid test kit manufactured by Abbott, which has been licensed by the Ministry of Health, WHO and FDA. Samples can be used with nasal secretions, causing no pain or discomfort for patients, especially children.
The test kit has a sensitivity of 91.4%, a specificity of 99.8% for both symptomatic and asymptomatic people. Accordingly, the samples will provide clear and high accuracy results, limiting false positives, false negatives or failure to interpret test results, which is dangerous to patients and the community.
Furthermore, Dr. Linh said, the implementation of sampling testing also needs to be done closely, ensuring epidemic prevention regulations. Regarding businesses with a large number of employees, if the business can meet all safety conditions, they can proactively arrange testing for employees at their place to limit transportation and avoid contact with outsiders, reducing the risk of infection.
Hanoi Family Clinic (FMP Hanoi) is one of the clinics that has been licensed by the Department of Health to do rapid testing for SARS-CoV-2. The clinic always fully complies with regulations on epidemic prevention, ensuring safe distance for patients and visitors.
FMP’s laboratory adapted ISO 15189:2012 standard, meeting the most stringent requirements for test quality.
Refer to FMP Hanoi’s COVID-19 testing service by click here or call +842438430748 ext 124 or +84777399119