DOH discourages antigen tests to screen for COVID-19 at Christmas parties

DOH discourages antigen tests to screen for COVID-19 at Christmas parties
Members of the Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) at the Manila International Container Port seized thousands of fake Clungene brand antigen test kits, LianHua Chinese herbal medicine and N95 face masks at a warehouse along Carlos Palanca street.
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MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health on Friday discouraged the use of antigen tests to screen for COVID-19 at Christmas parties, warning that it may yield inaccurate results when used on people without symptoms.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said antigen tests are accurate if people have symptoms, otherwise these could produce false-negatives or false-positives.

“For example, if a person got a false negative but they were actually sick, they will infect other people at the party. Or if they tested positive but they actually were negative for the disease, they won’t be able to go to the party and they’ll experience mental anguish,” Vegeire said.

The best way to screen for COVID-19 before revelries, Vergeire said, is through health screening which would assess if someone was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 and if they have symptoms of the illness.

On top of this, she recommended that partygoers keep their masks on.

“That is the only way that we can ensure and assure our fellow revelers that transmission will be kept at a minimum,” she said. — Xave Gregorio



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