In addition to the existing nucleic acid detection methods, antigen detection has a simple operation, requiring minimal training or infrastructure, it’s fast, convenient, and has a significant cost advantage.
Without the need for health professionals, ordinary people can take a test at home and receive the result within 20 minutes.
What types of Covid tests can a person take?
There are currently two primary types of COVID-19 tests being used to test patients for COVID-19: molecular tests (also known as nucleic acid, RNA, or PCR tests) and rapid antigen tests.
The third type of testing looks for antibodies created to combat the virus. While sometimes used, these tests can only identify if you had the virus in the past.
Where can I buy an Antigen test?
The antigen detection reagents can currently be purchased in physical pharmacies with identification. The headquarters of new crown pneumonia epidemic prevention and control in Hainan’s cities and counties require that they be stocked according to the total population of cities and counties.
Testing kits are also available to purchase on Taobao and Meituan. Presently, orders on Meituan may take 24 hrs to arrive.
Search online or ask for 抗原检测 Kàngyuán jiǎncè (Antigen testing) to find the test kits.
Rapid Antigen kits
Rapid antigen test kits for COVID-19 are often called lateral flow tests. A lateral flow test (LFT) is a simple device intended to detect the presence of a target substance in a liquid sample without the need for specialized and costly equipment.
LFTs are widely used in medical diagnostics in the home, for instance, the home pregnancy test is an LFT that detects a specific hormone.
What’s in the box
Pictured below is a box containing 10 tests. In the box, there are 10 swabs, 10 detection cards, 10 vials of sample fluid, 10 sample processing tubes, and a set of instructions.
The 10 test box retails at around 170 RMB. Single tests sell for around 15 yuan per test.
How to take a test
Step 1：Remove the detection card from the original packaging and place it on a clean flat surface.
Step 2: Remove the swab from the bottom end of the swab package and take a nasal swab. Do not touch the swab end.
Step 3: Add 10 drops of sample treatment solution to the sample processing tube
Step 4: Place the nasal swab sample into the tube containing the sample treatment solution and rotate it at least 10 times so that the sample is as dissolved in the solution as possible.
Note: The swab head should touch the bottom of the tube
Step 5: Rotate the swab while squeezing the sample treatment tube, and gently squeeze out the fluid on the head of the swab.
Note: squeeze as much fluid out of the swab head as possible
Step 6: Tightly cover the sample handling tube and gently mix the sample mixture by rotating the tube.
Step 7: Add 3 drops to the dosing hole of the detection card
Step 8: Start the timer and wait for the purple strip to appear. Test results should be available within 15 – 20 minutes.
A positive result
If the test is positive two red or purple bands will appear. One is located in the test area (T) and the other is in the quality control area (C). The detection area (T) strip color can be dark or lightly colored for positive results.
Insufficient diluent volume or incorrect procedural techniques are the most likely reasons for the absence of the control line. Review the procedure and repeat the test with a new device.
Please interpret the result of rapid antigen and antibody tests within 15-30 minutes. The result is not valid if you check again in a few hours.
What if my Antigen test is positive?
If the antigen test is positive, regardless of whether there are symptoms of the respiratory tract, fever, etc., it should be reported to the village, town, or community where you are residing immediately.
According to the guidelines for the transfer of personnel related to the new coronary pneumonia epidemic, they should be transferred to a medical institution with a fever clinic for nucleic acid testing.
Nucleic acid testing has always been the gold standard for diagnosing the new crown infection. That is to say, antigen detection cannot replace nucleic acid detection. When the antigen test is positive, the nucleic acid test must be used for confirmation.
What is an antigen?
The human immune system, and the immune systems of most vertebrates, work on a simple idea: Any protein in your body that isn’t encoded by your own genes is probably from a pathogen and should be captured and destroyed.
When the immune system detects a foreign protein, your white blood cells, specifically your B-cells, create antibodies to trap and destroy these proteins.
Antibodies are Y-shaped proteins that use their arms as grabbers for foreign proteins. The first round of antibodies aren’t particularly well matched to the shape of a new invading protein, but every time white blood cells make new antibodies, they tweak the shape of the antibody grabber until it fits the protein very well.
The foreign protein that triggers this process is referred to as an “antigen” because it is an antibody generator.
Related article: Nucleic acid test results for Longhua and Meilan district
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