Government considering use of rapid test kits for COVID-19 cases


Health & Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton says doctors are now recommending the use of rapid test kits in detecting COVID-19 cases. The rapid test produces results in 15 minutes.

Dr Tufton was responding to calls from the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association (JHTA) and experts in the medical fraternity for the health authorities to expand the COVID-19 evaluation regime.

JHTA president Omar Robinson has argued that this will allow for a faster turnaround time for results for travellers.

Dr Tufton, responding Wednesday morning on The Morning Agenda, on Power 106, said the assessment of  the most accurate rapid antigen test kit has started.

He conceded that "there's value in using that approach," now that the country is in the community transmission stage.

He still sounded a note of caution, however, pointing to the fact that, while there are a significant number of tests available, "many of them are experimental (and) not validated by the respective agencies, and many of them have significant margins of error."

It was therefore very important to "find the right tests and the right protocols around testing," prior to approval, he stressed.



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