US medical firm launches C-19 Rapid Antigen Test kit in BD
Abbott announced the availability of its Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Device for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in adults and children.
Abbott Laboratories is an American multinational medical devices and health care company with headquarters in Abbott Park, Illinois, United States.
The rapid antigen test - which is authorized for use by healthcare professionals - requires no instrumentation and provides results in as early as 15 minutes, making it a valuable tool for testing large numbers of patients in a variety of community settings, the company said in a statement.
Abbott has the capacity to provide millions of tests to Bangladesh and has already delivered rapid antigen tests to leading government and private hospitals and labs all over the country.
"Rapid antigen tests can enable frequent COVID-19 testing at mass scale so that those who are infected can be identified quickly to help slow the spread of virus," the statement quoted Abbot Bangladesh Country Manager Tanbir Ashraf Bhuiyan as saying.
"Abbott has leveraged its leadership in infectious diseases to create a powerful tool that makes large-scale testing fast, affordable and accessible and is committed to bringing this testing to Bangladesh."
Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test Device is a reliable, affordable, portable and scalable option for COVID-19 testing. The rapid antigen test may also be a very useful tool for supporting public health strategies, including contact tracing and large-scale testing of people suspected of having an active infection.
Rapid antigen tests detect a protein from the virus to determine if someone is currently infected. Because they give critical information at a point when people are at the highest risk of spreading the disease, antigen tests can be a powerful tool to slow the spread of infection. Results can be shared right at the point-of-care to aid in diagnosis and treatment.
"Because rapid antigen tests perform best in symptomatic people and within a week since symptom onset, antigen tests are used frequently on people who are symptomatic," said Professor A K Azad Khan, leading academician and president of the Diabetic Association of Bangladesh.
"However, rapid antigen tests also play a critical role in community contagion where the transmissions levels are substantially high. Point-of-care screening can provide rapid results that can identify even asymptomatic cases to break SARS-CoV-2 transmission," he added.
Professor Dr. M. Sawkat Hassan, renowned immunologist, division of Laboratory Sciences, BIRDEM General Hospital said, "When standard NAATs (nucleic acid amplification tests) are unavailable, or when results are expected to be delayed beyond 2-3 days, rapid antigen tests could be an acceptable alternative for symptomatic patients. Speed of the test results is an advantage - since positive results are available while the patient is still present, it helps doctors take health decisions faster."
In Bangladesh, having the ability to conduct COVID-19 testing at massive scale is important to containing the spread of the virus.