Antigen rapid test (ART) kits on sale in Brunei are approved by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and tested to have at least 90 per cent accuracy.
This was said by Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar at a press conference yesterday.
The minister advised users to use ART kits approved by the MoH. He also said there are several variations in administering ART kits such as nasal, mouth and saliva. The minister said users should make sure to follow the procedures as stated in the enclosed user manuals.
Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said, “For ART kits using saliva, the user must not eat or smoke just before testing to avoid contamination that can affect the accuracy of the result.”
For nasal swabs, the minister said users should ensure a deep insertion. “To obtain adequate amount of sample, the swab must go deep into the back of the nose. There are many YouTube videos on showing the proper way to get a nasal swab,” said Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham.
The minister also added that it is similar to PCR test’s swabbing but only requiring half the depth of insertion.
Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said ART kits’ accuracy depends on the viral load. “An ART kit’s threshold is at least 100,000 viral particles. If the viral load is only 80,000 particles, it might not be detected or the detection will be faint. “The individual should wait a few more hours before taking another test,” said the minister.
“It is important to take an ART test even when not showing symptoms for those who have been in contact with a COVID-positive individual. It is advisable to test daily. If not possible, do an ART on the fifth day before completing the Quarantine Order. The test would be able to detect if the individual is COVID-positive by then.”
The minister added that a COVID-infected individual will typically be tested positive within a day or two.
He concluded by reiterating that the public should buy MoH-approved ART kits and reminded that the list of approved brands is available on the ministry’s website.