Govt told antigen tests may play important future role

A brand new report for Government on the usage of speedy antigen tests has concluded that they may play an important a part of future Covid-19 testing programmes.

The Interim Report of the Expert Advisory Group on Rapid Testing says that though the tests don’t establish all circumstances of Covid-19, they’re low cost and will be deployed at scale.

It says they’ll reliably detect these almost certainly to be infectious and the pace of the outcome allows speedy intervention to forestall onward transmission.

The report requires ongoing engagement with Government departments, to help planning for present and future wants for antigen tests as a element of preparedness planning.

It says that presently, PCR testing is the gold customary for prognosis of Covid-19 an infection and anybody with signs ought to e-book an appointment for a PCR take a look at.

It concludes that speedy antigen tests are an extra device and never a substitution for current public well being measures.

It additionally factors to clear proof, each in Ireland and elsewhere, of widespread misconceptions among the many public concerning how you can use antigen tests appropriately, what the outcomes imply for the probability of getting the virus, and the implications of take a look at outcomes for subsequent behaviour.

The skilled group was chaired by Professor Mary Horgan, Professor of Infectious Diseases and guide at Cork University Hospital.

It is the fourth report produced right here throughout the pandemic on antigen tests

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Speaking on RTÉ's News at One, Prof Horgan stated it’s hoped that plans to ship speedy antigen tests to the properties of shut contacts shall be "up and running next week".

She stated that "a huge amount of the work has been done in the background" earlier than the plan was introduced as a part of the comfort of restrictions.

She stated that these tests can be utilized to assist "try to break that chain of transmission" because the economic system and society is reopening.

Prof Horgan stated that roughly 40% of people that have Covid-19 have no idea that they’ve it, and the tests are a measure to "simply and easily" establish these people who find themselves infectious.

She stated her group has been working to make sure that folks perceive when speedy antigen testing is acceptable and what to do if a constructive take a look at is returned.

Work has additionally been executed to hyperlink in with the take a look at and tracing system. A portal has been created the place an individual who has a constructive antigen take a look at outcome can add this outcome and hyperlink it in with the PCR system.

The phased return to the office may "potentially" be accelerated with the usage of these tests, she added.

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