Sri Lanka mulls antigen and antibody tests for COVID-19 in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka mulls antigen and antibody tests for COVID-19 in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka mulls antigen and antibody tests for COVID-19 in Sri Lanka

Written by Staff Writer

04 Nov, 2020 | 9:36 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): Health authorities have drawn attention towards conducting antigen and antibody tests to identify COVID-19 patients in the country.

“The advantage of antigen tests is that the sample can be tested immediately,” Dr Sudath Samaraweera, the health ministry’s chief epidemiologist said.

He added that PCR tests that are being carried out at present involve a certain cost and that there is a limitation in the equipment used for these tests.

However, the former director of the Medical Research Institute (MRI) Dr Jayaruwan Bandara raised questions over these tests in April this year.

“On most occasions, there is a possibility that these tests might not indicate the existence of the virus in a person’s body,” the former MRI director pointed out.

He said that this would allow an infected person to interact with the community and risk spreading the virus.

The Sri Lanka Association of Government Medical Laboratory Technologists has called for a fair tender procedure to be carried out while procuring these test kits.

“Encourage all relevant companies to produce kits. We will be able to identify the most suitable product only by doing that,” the association president Ravi Kumudesh insisted.

He pointed out that awarding tenders to targetted companies will increase unnecessary expenditure as the test kits are likely to contain defects.

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