Opinions

The Value of a Rapid COVID-19 Test

In the fight against a pandemic that has crippled the world economy and life as we know it, a framework to get COVID-19 test results quicker is a need of the hour. Test results will eventually be made available in minutes, as Malta is set to roll out rapid testing by the end of October.

These new rapid testing kits can deliver results within fifteen to thirty minutes! The government is expected to announce how these new rapid testing kits will be used together with the existing testing procedures. The test results of the swab tests being used presently, take a good number of hours to deliver results, with many people getting to know that they are positive a day after their tests.

Rapid testing kits lauded by the World Health Organisation

A few days ago, the World Health Organisation has highlighted that the widespread availability of such rapid testing kits is an important milestone. One of the reasons why rapid testing kits are indeed a major milestone is because most countries have faced issues to control the spread due to the long timeframe between a test and result.

Although this is indeed a welcome development, the actual cost of the acquisition of these rapid testing kits is yet to be established and communicated. In this regard, it is also yet to be made clear how much money Malta has invested to keep up to speed with COVID-19. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Malta has carried out almost three hundred thousand swab tests.

Breathing space for the aviation industry

Having such tools at their disposal, airline companies can benefit extensively as these may ultimately replace quarantine and establish air routes. For this to work, these kits need to be deployed to all passengers in a fast and cost-effective manner. In this regard, the Air Malta Chairman, Charles Mangion stated that a solution is desperately required to restore trust in the travel industry.

Where will these rapid testing kits be used?

In an announcement made by the Health Minister, Chris Fearne, it was stated that tests will first be rolled out at the airport, educational and health institutions, and care homes.

This announcement that we will be having rapid testing kits for COVID-19 by the end of October comes following the implementation of tighter restrictions, where people need to wear masks as they leave their homes and bars and restaurants will need to close by 23:00.

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