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COVID-19 WATCH

Stop RAT, lawmaker urges

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Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has filed a resolution urging the Department of Health (DoH) to discourage the use of rapid anti-body test (RAT) for COVID-19.

In House Resolution 1146, Rodriguez said reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test is the gold standard for COVID-19.

Rodriguez cited statement of microbiologist-scientist Marilen Balolong of University of Manila that RT-PCR is at least 97 percent accurate, while RAT’s reliability is at 30 percent to 80 percent.

He also cited the statement of pulmonary and critical care specialist Anna York Bondoc, a former congresswoman, urging the DoH to stop the use of RAT “because it is highly inaccurate” and produces many false positive and negative results.

Rodriguez said despite RAT’s inaccuracy, many business establishments are still using it to test workers.

He also pointed out that RAT has been banned in many countries, including Australia, Dubai and India.

“Now therefore be it resolve by the House of Representatives to urge the Department of Health to immediately discourage the use of rapid testing in screening people for COVID-19,” the resolution stated.

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