PCR test no longer required to confirm positive rapid Covid-19 test

From December 8, incoming travellers will once again have to show proof of a negative PCR test (Photo courtesy Getty Images)
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Effective immediately, a positive rapid antigen test will be accepted as indication that a person has contracted Covid-19.

That means that RT-PCR tests are no longer be required to confirm the person’s status if the rapid test is already positive.

This is according to a release from the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment which said that the update “is based on Antigua and Barbuda’s current Covid-19 epidemiological situation, in addition to recommendations from the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Epidemiological Alert on the Rational Use of Covid-19 Diagnostic tests and the Caribbean Epidemiology Center’s (CARPHA) Interim Guidance for the Selection of Diagnostic Tests for SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) Infection.”

The release, however, noted that some situations still exist where a PCR test will be mandated.

For example, “when there is a negative rapid antigen test results in a person with a high suspicion of Covid-19 disease”.

Persons in that category are “persons who are suspected or probable Covid-19 cases of Covid-19, close contacts of confirmed Covid-19 cases [and persons with] inconclusive rapid antigen tests”.

Additionally, any individual who has to be hospitalised due to respiratory issues and those who need to be admitted to the hospital will have to undergo PCR testing.

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