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COVID-19

RDT results should not clear a person from isolation: Dr Fong

July 31, 2021 12:45 pm

Rapid Diagnostic Tests or RDT results should not clear a person from isolation.

Health Permanent Secretary Dr James Fong says RDTs can be used outside of traditional laboratory setups and has the advantage of producing results very quickly, however, they work best when the limitations of the test are clearly understood by the user.

Dr Fong says it’s crucial for people to go to screening clinics to get tested and put on the appropriate care pathway where they will be monitored by health teams.

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“If you test positive on a rapid diagnostic test, you can assume that you have COVID-19 and self-isolate for 14 days. However, if you have symptoms and test negative on a rapid diagnostic test you should still assume you have COVID-19 and self-isolate for 14 days. We know that these rapid tests have a higher risk of producing a false negative result than the gold standard molecular testing, which is used by the Ministry to confirm all negative rapid tests conducted at our screening clinics.”

Dr Fong says the RDTs should not be conducted for persons with no symptoms unless tests are conducted on the person at regular intervals.

The Health Ministry is urging everyone living in the Suva-Nausori area that have symptoms of COVID-19 to assume they have COVID-19 and self-isolate for 14 days and seek immediate emergency medical care if they have severe COVID-19 symptoms.

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