First rapid Covid tests approved; 100% accuracy
The first two of five rapid Covid-19 tests the Netherlands experimented with have been approved. Both rapid tests had 100 percent accuracy, not giving a single false positive, and can tell whether someone is infected with the coronavirus within 15 minutes, Minister Hugo de Jonge of Public Health announced on Monday during a visit to the Amphia hospital in Breda, NOS reports.
One of the approved tests, a rapid test made by American company Abott, was experimented with at the Amphia hospital. The other experiment happened at UMC Utrecht with a test by American company BD. The BD test was also researched in Aruba. 351 people participated in the Breda study, 1,044 in Utrecht and 134 in Aruba.
De Jonge is enthusiastic about the results. "You can certainly use this test in a rapid test center for people in education or healthcare, but also in other vital professions," the Minister said. "Or for people who come out positive from the source and contact tracings, so that you can test them very quickly. Or for users of the corona app."
The two approved tests will now be further studied for how they can be most effectively used. "In the coming weeks, we will find out in practice for which applications these tests are most suitable," De Jonge said. "You always have to look carefully at how you can best use such a rapid test as a supplement to the normal tests of the GGD. We will investigate exactly that in the coming weeks and then decide how we will use the tests definitively."
According to De Jonge, the Netherlands will not face a shortage of these tests. "Before we knew whether the tests were suitable, we had already purchased enormous numbers in advance. As soon as the tests prove suitable in a certain situation, we can actually use them immediately."
The scientists involved in the studies are also enthusiastic about the tests. "I think this will mean a breakthrough in testing policy," Jan Kluytmans, professor and head of medical microbiology at the Amphia hospital, said to the broadcaster. "I couldn't have hoped it would work so well. This can really change things completely."
Marc Bonten, head of microbiology at UMC Utrecht, called the results of the experiments "very encouraging".