Defensor: Rapid tests cause anxiety, unnecessary expenditure

Gov. Art Defensor Jr on rapid testing.

Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. reiterated his stand of not recommending rapid tests for mass testing and early detection of COVID-19 patients.

Defensor said that since rapid antibody tests are not conclusive, the results will only “cause anxiety and unnecessary expenditure.”

He cited as an example the four employees of the local government unit of Lemery who were tested positive in the rapid antibody test. But they yielded negative in the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

“That’s why since the start and even the Department of Health itself did not recommend the use of rapid tests just to find out those who are positive or not. Because rapid tests are not conclusive. You have to have a confirmatory test,” he said.

A rapid test uses blood samples and only detects antibodies produced by the body in response to an infectious virus. While an RT-PCR test uses swabs from patients and determines the actual presence of coronavirus in the body.

The governor added that rapid tests or PCR mass testing can be used in the study of the epidemiology of the disease but not for purpose of pursuing treatment.

But Defensor said LGUs can pursue their own approach in detecting the coronavirus. (LHC/Capitol news)

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