Antigen test in private hospitals soon

Staff Correspondent

26 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The Covid-19 rapid antigen test will be available soon in laboratories of private hospitals and diagnostics centres soon across the country including in Dhaka.

The health ministry sources said the coronavirus test in private antigen test laboratories may be available at Tk 700 for each.

According to U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antigen tests are commonly used in the diagnosis of respiratory pathogens, including influenza viruses and respiratory syncytial virus.  

Antigen tests are immunoassays that detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, which implies current viral infection. Antigen tests are currently authorized to be performed on nasopharyngeal or nasal swab specimens placed directly into the assay’s extraction buffer or reagent.

The currently authorized antigen tests include point-of-care, laboratory-based, and self-tests, and they are applicable to people of any age, the CDC added. Health and Family welfare minister Zahid Maleque on Thursday night told newsmen that the government has decided to allow antigen tests for Covid-19 at the private hospitals.

Mentioning that the file regarding the permission has already been signed; now the order will be issued, he said private institutions could start the antigen testing in two to four days.

Earlier, the Directorate General of Health Service (DGHS) recommended government to introduce antigen test in private organisationsin a bid to increase the coronavirus test in the country.

On September 17 last year, the government had given permission to carry out the antigen-based rapid coronavirus testing at public healthcare centres to increase the testing facilities.

In the rapid antigen testing, a suspected patient will get the result within 30 minutes after the collection of samples, the DGHS sources said.

According to the DGHS, there are total 554 laboratories for coronavirus test in the country. Of the testing centres, 382 are rapid antigen test centres, 53 Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and 43 Genexpert laboratories.