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COVID-19 home testing kit.

The door is open for COVID-19 home self-test kits according to the Minister of Health Terrence Deyalsingh at Monday’s virtual press conference.

He said the ministry is looking forward to its use locally and it has cleared a path for its approval and importation into the country.

“The process to get approval for home kits is a simple one. We just ask importers to just submit your documents to Chemistry, Food and Drugs and they are committed to turning around this (approval) in the shortest possible space of time,” he said.

The only criteria for the kits, he said, will be that they are registered with the country of manufacture.

He noted that while the kits are inexpensive and provide fast results, they are not as accurate as a PCR test. He warns there are a number of variables that could lead to a false-negative test result.

“The issue with the home kits is they are good for testing the symptomatic persons and if you get a positive you could rely on it. But the issue is if you get a negative you need to have that confirmed by a PCR and that is the global practice around the world,” he said.

“These kits do have a place but…there is a variability due to a variety of factors.”

Minister Deyalsingh also indicated the daily update will also get a facelift for 2022, now displaying information in a different format. Chief among the changes is the representation of fully vaccinated patients hospitalised versus those who are unvaccinated. It will also depict the same classifications for fatalities.

“The main reason that governments and public health officials around the world are readjusting reporting is to show the clear disparity between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated,” he said.