We support the statements of the WHO, Philippine College of Physicians, and Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases that do not recommend the use of rapid antibody tests for clinical or public health purposes. These tests have not undergone thorough evaluation, and early studies show unacceptably high error rates when used to diagnose COVID-19 before the 14th day of illness.
As much as 72% of positive tests will be wrong (false positives). Non-COVID-19 cases will be classified as COVID-19 cases and this may lead to errors in management. Numerous non-COVID patients will be sent to COVID centers, exposing them to patients with COVID-19 disease, and occupying scarce beds at this great time of need.
Similarly, 17% of negative tests will be wrong (false negatives). COVID-19 cases will be classified as non-COVID-19 cases and this may lead to a false sense of reassurance. Numerous COVID-19 patients may be sent to PUI centers, inadvertently exposing other patients as well as healthcare providers.
In this time of crisis, we believe that tests and treatments should be carefully assessed before routine use, so as not to aggravate the dangers of the disease and the difficulties already faced by our healthcare system.
We echo the call of numerous experts – rapid antibody tests should not be used outside a research setting at this time.
Link to the PCP and PSMID statement:
To read more about this:
Philippine Medical Association
Philippine Pediatric Society
Action for Economic Reforms
Action on Smoking & Health Philippines Inc. (ASH)
Asia-Pacific Center for Evidence Based Healthcare
Ayos na Gamot sa Abot kayang Presyo (AGAP)
Consolidated Council of Health and Allied Profession (CCHAP-PSLINK)
Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance, Philippines (FCAP)
Galing Pook Foundation
Health Justice Philippines
Kalusugan ng Mag-Ina (KMI)
Lingap Para Sa Kalusugan ng Sambayanan (LIKAS)
National Public Workers Congress (PUBLIK)
Philippine Society of Private Midwife Clinic Owners Inc-Davao
Public Services Labor Independent Confederation (PSLINK)
Rotaract Club of Fort Bonifacio Global City
Sigaw ng Kabataan Coalition
Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA)
United Healthcare Org of the Philippines (UHOP)
UP Economics Towards Consciousness
Dr. Anthony Leachon
Dr. Rogelio Dazo Jr.
Ms. Jofti Villena