Govt Launches Rapid Antigen Testing Policy to Contain COVID-19

The National Institute of Health (NIH) has formulated a comprehensive national policy to start rapid antigen testing to contain the second wave of Coronavirus.

The decision has been taken because most laboratories give COVID-19 diagnosis results in up to 72 hours, significantly increasing the chances of the transmission of the virus.


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In a recent meeting of the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), NIH Executive Director, Major General Aamer Ikram, revealed that the policy is based on recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).

He added that all provinces are onboard to successfully implement the rapid antigen testing policy to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

Under the policy, all government-authorized public sector laboratories will be allowed to conduct antigen tests.

The decision of whether to allow private laboratories to perform antigen tests to augment the testing capacity of public labs rests with provincial governments. Moreover, only those private labs will be allowed to conduct antigen tests that are already performing PCR tests.

According to the Ministry of National Health Services (NHS), Coronavirus cases across the country have declined by 27% since last week.

A spokesperson for the NHS Ministry, Sajid Shah, has attributed this downward trend to the closure of educational institutions and smart lockdowns in the virus hotspots.


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He requested the masses to act responsibly and adhere to COVID-19 SOPs to help the authorities in controlling the transmission of the viral infection.

Meanwhile, the national positivity ratio has dropped to 6%, according to the NCOC data.

Where independent positivity rates are concerned, Mirpur, with 20.62%, has the highest positivity ratio in Pakistan. Mirpur is followed by Peshawar with 19.58% and Hyderabad with 19.03%.