Minister for Planning Asad Umar on Wednesday introduced that the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) is giving the go forward to make use of antigen testing for COVID-19 sufferers to extend the nation’s testing capability.
Taking to Twitter, Umar stated the NCOC had accredited the usage of antigen testing along with the PCR exams presently getting used all through the nation.
“This is part of the strategy to increase the level of testing. The symptomatic cases will all still be administered PCR tests,” stated the minister. He added that the choice is in keeping with the rules issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
What is antigen testing?
According to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antigen exams are “commonly used in the diagnosis of respiratory pathogens, including influenza viruses and respiratory syncytial virus”.
“Antigen tests are immunoassays that detect the presence of a specific viral antigen, which implies current viral infection,” says the CDC.
The CDC additionally stated that the antigen exams can be utilized for screening testing in high-risk settings. It stated that by finishing up repeat testing the check might shortly determine individuals with coronavirus an infection, main authorities to take measures to regulate the virus and stop transmission.
NCOC makes masks necessary in public
Separately, NCOC, in an announcement, stated sporting masks is necessary for individuals leaving their properties and in addition made it obligatory for everybody to put on masks in authorities and personal places of work.
“Masks should also be used in markets and shopping malls,” stated the NCOC. It additionally shared that, up to now, authorities have imposed 4,374 lockdowns in 11 cities of Pakistan.
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The NCOC situation the directive because the nation reported 825 instances and 14 deaths as a result of coronavirus within the earlier 24 hours.
‘Strict coronavirus restrictions inevitable’
On Tuesday, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Health Dr Faisal Sultan stated that strict coronavirus restrictions are inevitable given the rise in COVID-19 deaths and the positivity ratio throughout Pakistan.
The premier’s aide stated that a couple of weeks in the past, 400-500 instances have been being reported throughout the nation every day. The tally, he stated, had shot as much as 700-750 instances of the an infection per day.
“The Coronavirus death rate has increased in the country,” he stated, including that that the positivity ratio had surged to 2.5-2.75%.
Dr Faisal stated that the plenty weren’t adhering to coronavirus precautions as they need to, given the pandemic was nonetheless removed from over.