Amid a potential fourth wave of COVID-19, South Korea has given the greenlight to self-testing kits, to ramp up early detection of cases.
The Food and Drug Safety Ministry on Friday decided to grant temporary approval,for two locally-produced self-testing kits, for three months, before they are officially approved.
Both products have already been granted emergency authorization in several countries.
Users of self-testing kits swab their samples from their nose,… and the results are read in 15 to 20 minutes.
That is MUCH faster than a PCR test taken at testing sites,…which takes about 6 hours to analyze genetic segments in lab.
Two pink lines means a positive result, while a single line means negative.
" Even if you have a negative result, you should re-take the test several times if you have symptoms or were exposed to crowded places,…as the results may change. For those who get positive results,…you must get re-tested with a PCR test to confirm the results."
An additional PCR test is recommended, because of accuracy issues.
The two products post 83 and 93 percent for their sensitivity in detecting COVID-19, which is slightly lower than that of PCR tests.
This is why the government advises that self-testing kits can used as a supplementary tool, mostly for those who have symptoms but cannot visit a testing site.
"A PCR test is like using a microscope that has a 100 percent accuracy rate, while self-testing kits are like observing with your eyes. Because of that accuracy difference, self-testing kits should only be used as a supplementary tool."
PCR 100% "
The products will be available as soon as next week at pharmacies or online stores.
Lee Kyung-eun, Arirang News.