The antigen rapid test (ART) kit should only be regarded as a screening tool, and the results should not be interpreted as the final diagnostic result, said Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar during the daily press conference yesterday.
He recommended those with positive results from ART kits to undergo a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab test, for diagnosing COVID-19.
“The ART kit acts as a screening tool and an indicator which is useful to test a large number of people within a short period of time. However, the results from the ART kit are not 100 per cent accurate,” he said.
“If the employees of say, a restaurant, are subjected a PCR swab test and the results are negative, then the company can proceed to conduct regular screenings with ART test kits.”
However, the minister stressed that the results obtained from either ART or PCR testing only determine a person’s condition on the day the test was taken.
“Even if the result is negative, it does not mean the person is not at risk of being infected,” he said.
Asked whether the public could visit parents living in separate households, the minister said it is advisable to have only two visitors at a time.
“If the parents cannot receive the vaccine for certain reasons, then the visiting children should get vaccinated first, to protect them,” he added.
“The same applies to those living with their elderly parents. If the parents are unable to receive the vaccine, then the rest of the household should be inoculated, to produce a herd immunity.”