A blunt but fast test for Covid-19


In 2019, Covid-19 has affected many citizens in the world seriously. The diagnosis of the COVID-19 plays an important factor to hinder the spread of the virus. A test which named as antigen test is a less precise but faster than other forms of Covid-19 diagnosis has been developed. US President Donald Trump has been ordered the useful kit this week and is used as the weapon in the pandemic battle.

Speed is the major element

The test is a rapid detector which it uses a paper strip consists of coronavirus antibodies. It will react with each other when they contact with the virus’s spike protein.

Nevertheless, the antigen tests need further confirmation and verification by a PCR test, especially if a person was having the symptoms but tested negative in the tests.

According to the World Health Organization, the antigen tests can be approved to detect Covid-19 in the country where there is a deficit of PCR tests.

The rapid antigen test could actually play a vital role in reducing the second viral wave in countries such as France and Britain.

These countries were demanded testing but ended up the stacking of the waiting result due to the lacking of the rapid test. One case detected more quickly will allow for measures to reduce the risk of contaminating others.

Testing period

The WHO on Monday announced some 120 million antigen tests will be available for poorer nations at a cost of US$5 (RM20.85) each.

It said the US$600-million scheme would enable low- and middle-income countries to close the dramatic gap in testing.

“This will enable the expansion of testing, particularly in hard-to-reach areas that do not have lab facilities or enough trained health workers to carry out PCR tests,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Swab samples should be prepared into a tube in order to conduct the Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) for Covid-19 detection.

Recommended Threshold

The precise reliability for detecting the coronavirus changes from model to model. Thus, WHO fixed a minimum accuracy threshold of 80 per cent, which is the probability that a test will return a positive result if a person is infected.

Negative results should be correct at least 97 per cent of the time. This is important in ensuring that other viral illnesses such as seasonal flu are not conflated with Covid-19 cases.

Timing key

Their usefulness also varies significantly with time. They are at their best when an individual has a lot of virus in their nasal cavity, which is also probably the point at which they are most contagious.

Rapid antigen tests perform best when the person is tested in the early stages of infection with SARS-CoV-2 when viral load is generally the highest


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Antigen tests: Blunt but fast COVID weapon

Prepared by: Andrew

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