COVID-19 test kit highly sensitive, says minister

Rokiah Mahmud

The test kit used for swab tests for COVID-19 is highly sensitive and very specific. The rt-PCR method also called the reverse transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction method will detect the protein of the COVID-19 virus which will either show positive or negative.

This was explained by Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar at the daily press conference at the Ministry of Health yesterday.

The minister, referring to the relapsed cases, said there is nothing wrong with the test kits even when a patient initially tests negative and later tests positive or vice-versa.

“It may be due to residual virus that might have been still in the patient’s body. The virus might have been dead as the test kit cannot detect whether the virus is still alive or dead. Not only in Brunei, but our neighbouring countries are also reporting relapsed cases,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said.

“We carried out swab tests for family members of relapsed cases who have been in self-isolation for more than 11 days. The results have been negative so far,” he said.