Some people may think that the results obtained from the Covid-19 rapid test can be used to make a diagnosis.

Fact is, the rapid test that is currently being implemented in several areas functions more as a screening effort rather than making a diagnose. “(Rapid test) is indeed not for the diagnosis of the determinant diagnosis,” said Secretary of the Covid-19 Medical Team Association of Indonesian Lung Doctors Dr. dr. Anna Rozaliyani MBiomed SpP in the Online Center for Indonesia’s Strategic Developments Initiatives (CISDI) webinar.

Anna said, the options currently available are rapid test based on antibody detection and antigen detection.  Rapid test examination conducted once or repetition is more towards screening. “It’s actually more towards screening, more to screening tests, (knowing) which ones are at risk, which ones aren’t,” she pointed out. Anna further stated that if the first rapid test showed negative results, it does not mean that the person tested was truly negative Covid-19.  It could be that when the first rapid test was carried out, the antibodies had not yet formed.  Therefore, the rapid test must be repeated within 7-10 days.

Conversely, the results of a positive rapid test also do not necessarily indicate that the person tested is actually affected by Covid-19.  The reason is that the detected antigen is unknown whether there is a cross-reaction with pan-coronavirus. “We also have to know whether the antigens detected are indeed very specific or there is a cross reaction with pan-corona (virus), so the corona virus in general,” Anna explained.

This rapid test can screen people who are judged to need to undergo further tests.  To confirm or establish a Covid-19 diagnosis, a PCR examination is needed.

However, what is a Rapid Test, exactly? Quoted from Covid19.go.id, “Rapid Test is a test that aims to detect the Cove (CHIDVE) COD-the case so that the government can take the right action for the spread of the virus.”

Please note, Rapid Test is only done to people at risk of contributing Corona virus. As never contacted directly with the positive person of Corona virus, ever in a local transmission country, and has symptoms of fever or disruption of respiratory systems. People do not need to test fast if in healthy condition and no direct contact with Corona Cove 19-patients. So, not everyone is undergoing Rapid Test.

There are three categories of people who get to undergo a Rapid Test: OTG (people without symptoms), ODP (people in monitoring), and PDP (patient in supervision). The status will be specified by health workers.

How is It Done?

Rapid test is done by taking blood samples from the fingertips.  Through the blood sample, the doctor will check and detect the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies for the Corona virus.  Both of these antibodies are produced naturally by the body when exposed to the Corona virus.

In other words, a rapid test is done not to detect the presence of the Corona virus, but only to find out whether your body has formed antibodies to fight the virus or not. Therefore, the rapid test is classified as a screening or screening test, not to diagnose COVID-19 disease.

If the COVID-19 rapid test results are positive, further tests need to be done, namely the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test that can detect the presence of Corona virus directly.  The PCR test, which is often called the swab test, is an official test used to diagnose COVID-19.

So what should you do if your rapid test results are negative?  Can this ensure that you are not infected with the Corona virus and that this virus is not in your body?

Understanding the Interpretation of COVID-19 Negative Rapid Test Results

Negative rapid test results show that in the body no IgM and IgG antibodies are found against the Corona virus.  However, these negative results do not mean you are definitely not infected with the Corona virus or not exposed to COVID-19.

A negative COVID-19 rapid test result can be interpreted as follows:

  1. You have not been infected with the Corona virus

When a COVID-19 rapid test is performed, the Corona virus may not exist or have not yet entered your body.  However, you could be infected with the Corona virus later on after a rapid test.  Therefore, you still need to take precautionary measures to prevent contracting this virus.

  1. Your body has not made antibodies

Corona virus may have entered your body, but the body has not formed immunity or has not produced antibodies to fight the virus. Usually, rapid test results are still negative within 1-2 weeks after a person is infected with the Corona virus.

This is because the body takes at least 2-4 weeks to produce IgM and IgG antibodies for the Corona virus since exposure to this virus.  It is IgM and IgG which are detected through COVID-19 rapid test.

  1. You need to do another test

The COVID-19 rapid test is indeed cheap, practical, and provides fast results to detect whether your body has formed immunity to fight the Corona virus.  However, unfortunately until now, the rapid test is still considered less than ideal for diagnosing COVID-19. Therefore, other examination methods, such as a physical examination by a doctor plus a PCR test and X-ray or CT scan of the lung still need to be done to diagnose COVID-19.

What to Do if Your COVID-19 Rapid Test Results are Negative

If your COVID-19 rapid test results are negative, you are advised to take the following steps:

  1. Independent isolation at home if there are symptoms.

To break the chain of the spread of Corona virus to others, you still need to undergo an independent isolation protocol at home if you experience symptoms of COVID-19.  The trick is to:

-Do not travel outside the house and do all the activities at home, including work, study, and worship

-Perform physical distancing by limiting physical contact and keeping a distance from others at least 1 meter.

-Wash hands with running water and soap for 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60%

-Do not touch the face, especially the eyes, nose and mouth

-Cover the nose and mouth with a mask when being close to other people

-Cover nose and mouth with folded elbows, forearms, or tissue when sneezing or coughing, then immediately throw the tissue in the trash

-Clean objects that are frequently touched, such as door handles or mobile phones, with disinfectant

-Do not share the use of toiletries and cutlery with others

  1. Perform a repeat rapid test

You need to do a rapid test again with an interval of 7-10 days after the first rapid test that results are negative.  If you have been in contact with people with COVID-19, you may be advised by a doctor to undergo a PCR test and a CT scan of the lung.

A rapid test does not confirm the diagnosis that you are infected or not infected with the Corona virus.  Whatever the results, both positive and negative, you still need to take precautionary measures so that you do not catch it and transmit the Corona virus to others.

If you have a fever, sore throat, cough, or shortness of breath, especially if you have been in close contact with someone who is positively infected with the Corona virus or have been in the endemic area (red zone) COVID-19 in the last 14 days, immediately do independent isolation and contact  COVID-19 hotline at 119 Ext.  9 for further guidance.

If you have questions regarding Corona virus infection, both regarding symptoms, prevention measures, and COVID-19 examination, you use medical applications to chat with a doctor before actually going to a hospital. This way, you will know if it is necessary to go out or if you can treat it at home.  You can also make a doctor’s appointment at the hospital through such applications. 

Where to Get a Rapid Test

When and if you find out that you absolutely need to take the rapid test, Come to Unicare clinic chains:

Unicare Ubud Medical Clinic, Direct chat
Jalan Raya Pengosekan no. 88, Banjar Tegal Kelod, Ubud, Gianyar, Bali 80571

Unicare Uluwatu Medical Clinic, Direct chat 
Jalan Uluwatu No.88, Banjar Bakun

There you go, we hope this article helps you understand more about the Covid-1 Rapid Test.

Of course, it is necessary to avoid the virus at all cost, so please keep your body fit and healthy, consume healthy food, work out, stay happy, and maybe get an IV drip. Don’t worry about having to go out, simply make an apointment with us and we will come to you! Stay safe and sane, people. Until next time.

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