Rapid test not productive in every instance: Epidemiology Chief


The Rapid Antigen test would be productive in many occasions but there were also occasions where a PCR test had to be conducted subsequent to the Antigen test, Chief Epidemiologist Dr. Sudath Samaraweera said today.

Addressing a media briefing, Dr. Samaraweera said it was necessary to conduct a PCR test on a patient with Covid-19 symptoms at hospitals when his or her Rapid Antigen test result was negative.

“The Antigen test can also be used on dead corpse to ascertain the infection of the virus on the body. However, a PCR test has to be conducted to further verify the result of the Antigen test,” he added.

Dr. Samaraweera said the test would be used especially for contacts of the Covid-19 patients and people who arrive at hospitals with Covid-19 symptoms. However, if the Antigen test result becomes negative, a PCR test is carried out on such patients to reconfirm it.

“We will be able to rapidly identify Covid-19 patients because this test will be carried out at the site of the collection of the sample. The test should not be carried out in a laboratory and the test will only take 30 minutes to receive the reports,” he said.

Rapid Antigen tests were carried out from yesterday (18) to identify COVID-19 patients following approval of the Director-General of Health Services on Tuesday (17).