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Posted On: 29 May 2021 09:45 pm

MoPH approves two new COVID-19 tests for private healthcare sector

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The Ministry of Public Health has updated its COVID-19 testing protocol and approved antibody and antigen tests to be performed in the private healthcare sector, as mentioned on the MoPH Twitter page. ​

The latest COVID-19 testing protocol means that approved private healthcare centers are now authorized to perform two new tests - rapid antigen testing and antibody testing – in addition to the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing that the private sector has been performing through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three COVID-19 tests are now available at approved private hospitals and clinics:

1. Rapid antigen testing

  • Offers a fast and reasonably accurate screening test to detect COVID-19 virus antigens in the individual.
  • The test can be used for a range of uses including triaging patients with respiratory symptoms presenting to clinics, and prior to hospital admission for minor procedures.
  • Requires a nasal swab to be taken from the individual and the results usually available within 15 minutes.

2. Antibody testing (Rapid, Anti-N and Anti-S assays)

  • Designed to demonstrate immunity against COVID-19 as a result of a previous infection or vaccination.
  • These tests can be done in private clinics by nurses, physicians, or other healthcare providers.
  • Requires a blood drop to be taken from the individual and the results are usually available within 15 minutes.

3. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing

For screening of asymptomatic people or patients or patients presenting with COVID-19 like symptoms or other respiratory symptoms.

It can detect the COVID-19 virus in the early acute infectious stage of the infection and during the prolonged shedding stage that is often found in recovering patients.

Currently, PCR tests are required prior to travel, before major hospital procedures and for confirmation of infection following a positive rapid

PCR testing is considered the golden standard test in diagnosing acute infection with COVID-19.

Source: MoPH Twitter; MoPH
Cover image credit: Shutterstock