The World Health Organization (WHO) has donated 100,000 rapid antigen test kits ( RATK) to Sri Lanka,
President Rajapaksa thanked the WHO for donating 100,000 Antigen Rapid test kits to Sri Lanka. “ This will us to expand testing capacity and speed up measures to break the chains of transmission of the current Covid cluster,” Rajapaksa said.
State Minister of Pharmaceutical Production, Supply and Regulation Prof. Channa Jayasumana stated. said that following a request made by the Government of Sri Lanka, the WHO has donated these test kits.
Meanwhile, Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) Editor Dr. Haritha Aluthge said that the rapid antigen test is a low cost diagnostic test that can diagnose COVID-19 in a few minutes and it is essential to use this test to manage the current COVID 19 crisis. But certain groups are attempting to promote rapid antigen tests as the only solution to prevent the spread of COVID 19. But rapid antigen testing is not an alternative for the PCR test.
He further said that the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing is both highly sensitive and specific but requires more complex laboratory expertise and equipment. Rapid antigen tests are less sensitive than the PCR test, which means that more viral particles must be present to generate the positive result.
“With the use of rapid antigen tests we can limit the number of patients that should be directed for PCR tests.” he added.
Dr. Aluthge said that there is another test called antibody test to determine whether a person had COVID-19 in the past and now has antibodies against the virus and he urged the government to find out the possibility of using this antibody test.