A new rapid antigen test that can detect COVID-19 in an individual in 15 minutes has launched in Malta.
The SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test by ROCHE, which is currently listed on the WHO’s listing for medicines for emergency use for in vitro diagnostics, is for use in point of care settings for both symptomatic and asymptomatic people.
“This new test can help healthcare professionals identify a SARS-CoV-2 infection in people suspected to carry the virus with results typically ready in 15 minutes,” a Vivian spokesperson told Lovin Malta.
“In addition, it serves as a valuable initial screening test for individuals that have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 infected patients or a high risk environment. The test has a sensitivity of 96.52% and a specificity of 99.68%, based on 426 samples from two independent study centres,” they continued.
At launch, there will be 40 million SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Tests available, per month, with “thousands” set to be continuously arriving in Malta.
The test may be available from healthcare set ups such as leading pharmacies, clinics, labs – however, the test can only be carried out by a healthcare professional.
“We will advise any healthcare entity purchasing the test to set up the right structure to support the healthcare professionals who will carry out the test as well as patients coming in for the test ie. the use of personal protective equipment,” the spokesperson said.
While it’s too early to confirm the exact price point of the test, it is believed to be well under the 100 mark, and may be considerably less.
The launch is a partnership with SD Biosensor Inc., with whom Roche has a global distribution agreement.