Home Covid Tests To Be Approved Within Weeks

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The use of at-home Covid testing kits is set to ramp up across the country within weeks.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed that the Government has approved 28 types of rapid-antigen tests, it is now waiting on approval from the TGA.

Home Covid tests to be approved within weeks

Infectious Diseases Expert Professor Robert Booy has told Nine the test is simple and has a fast turnaround for results.

“It’s a swab up your nose, you put it on a little plate, it’s a bit like a pregnancy test, you really have a result in 20 minutes. Is it reliable? Well, about 50-70% sensitive that means that if you’re early in the infection with a high viral load, you’re likely to be found.”

Epidemiologist Professor Adrian Esterman from Flinders Uni says the only flaw is they're not as accurate as a PCR test currently used in hospitals and at testing sites.

“You do get a percentage of false positives and false negatives but in the use that we’re talking about, which is in factories and houses etc, where you can do repeat tests, and they become almost as effective as PCR.”

He added that this testing would benefit a range of sectors with high transmission including airports, transport hubs, and schools.

“If your rapid antigen test comes back positive, then off you go to get a PCR test done to double-check it, they’d be really useful in school, kids could get a rapid antigen test every day and so could the teacher.”

Rapid-antigen testing is already being used in other countries across the globe including the UK, where tests are free of charge from a local chemist.

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7 September 2021

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