Covid-19 self-test not 100% accurate, authorities warn
Experts are worried that self-administered coronavirus tests do not accurately indicate if someone has an active infection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Rapid tests have become increasingly popular in the Netherlands since they became available in stores at the end of March.
Health authorities expressed their concern that people may become more likely to disregard coronavirus measures based on an incorrect negative result. Over 200 thousand coronavirus self-tests have been sold in the Netherlands since they became available in pharmacies, newspaper AD reported.
"A negative outcome does not mean anything because it could be false", microbiologist and member of the Outbreak Management Team (OMT) Marc Bonton said.
“If you do the self-test, the reliability of the result lies at about 85 percent. That means that out of 100 people who receive a negative result, 15 may still be positive. Therefore, always follow the coronavirus rules'', said Aris Prins, the chair of the country's association of pharmacists.
Experts are also concerned if self-administered tests continue to be used en masse, people may no longer report to the GGD for testing. Therefore, it may become more difficult to keep track of the infections and trace contacts.
Rapid tests provide results within fifteen minutes and can be purchased for under ten euros at pharmacies.
The national public health agency RIVM reported 8,288 new cases of SARS-CoV-2 in the Netherlands on Sunday, the most in one day since March 27.