12 July 2024

About 10% of over 50,000 people in Bangkok checked using antigen test kits (ATK) since July 12th, under an active screening campaign, have tested positive for COVID-19, according to  the National Health Security Office (NHSO).

NHSO Secretary-general Dr. Jadet Thammathat-Aree said yesterday (Thursday) that, given the 3% inaccuracy rate, the test results produced by ATKs are reliable.

The use of ATKs in the active screening of communities and in several public venues in Bangkok is being jointly conducted by the Ministry of Public Health, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration and the NHSO.

Dr. Jadet said that, in the next step, the NHSO will distribute ATKs, free of charge, to some high-risk groups, so they can take the tests themselves, adding that the office will announce from where the kits can be obtained and what the people need to do if the test results are positive.

He said that the NHSO is currently distributing the test kits to about 200 community clinics and 69 health offices in Bangkok and then to community hospitals and sub-district based health promotion hospitals throughout the country.

Meanwhile, Dr. Rungruang Kitphati, a senior ministerial advisor, said that it is not necessary for everyone to be tested, adding that only those at high risk, either because their relatives are infected, they have been in close physical contact with an infected person or have developed flu-like symptoms, need to get the test.

Even if the test results are negative, he said that people at high risk must still protect themselves and others from getting infected.

Those who self-administer an ATK and test positive are advised to call the 1330 hotline and then take care of themselves while waiting for help from health officials, said Dr. Rungruang, adding that a secondary RT PCR test will then be administered, before they are accepted into the treatment system if the second test is positive.