Bangkok Post

Hospitals warned on antigen test kits


Nakhon Si Thammarat public health chief Charaspong Sukkree has warned hospitals against using antigen test kits made by Lepu Medical Technology for people considered in the Covid-19 high-risk group.

Dr Charaspong issued the advice as test results have been deemed to be significan­tly inaccurate.

Government Pharmaceut­ical Organisati­on procured 8.5 million Lepu test kits from China, imported by Ostland Capital Co Ltd, for distributi­on to people at risk of contractin­g Covid-19.

Dr Charaspong yesterday said that there were many cases that the results from the test kits were positive but after double-checking with the RT-PCR test, it was negative or vice versa.

“The Lepu test kits have a high tendency to provide a false result when applied with the high-risk group. It is not recommende­d medically,” he said.

Dr Charaspong said 1,000 villagers in the Thung Yai area were tested using Lepu test kits and of them, 187 tested positive for Covid-19. However, when the RT-PCR tests were run, only 92 cases were confirmed infected.

The Nakhon Si Thammarat public health office has since recommende­d that hospitals do not use Lepu ATKs for screening patients in hospitals just because they want to reduce operating costs.

Technicall­y, hospitals should run RT-PCR tests on the at-risk groups for an accurate result.

The ATKs were divided into two types — medical and general uses. For medical use, doctors will insert a long swab behind the nasal cavity near the throat, while general use ATK will insert it in the frontal nasal cavity.

The situation in the province still needs close monitoring as the infection was found in 18 districts out of 23.

Yesterday, the province detected 259 new infections, taking the total to 18,000 cases. About 13,000 patients have recovered. There have been some 100 deaths.

About 33% of people in Nakhon Si Thammarat was vaccinated with the first shot and 21% for the second dose.

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