HCM City residents given guide for COVID-19 self-testing at home hinh anh 1Illustrative image. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – Residents in Ho Chi Minh City will be able to conduct a COVID-19 self-test at home by using rapid antigen testing (RAT), as part of a pilot scheme by the municipal Department of Health (DoH).

To implement the scheme, the department on August 22 guided residents how to do a COVID-19 self-test at home in alley 446, Le Van Sy street, Ward 14, District 3.

The model is expected to detect suspected COVID-19 cases, then take further testing to confirm, localise and stamp out the outbreak. It also reduces the overload of the health sector in the face of widespread testing pressure.

According to the DoH, proper use of testing procedures and sampling techniques will help give correct people results. Otherwise, it will lead to incorrect ones.

The accuracy of the RAT is only relative, about 80 and 90 percent. A false positive result can cause confusion and anxiety and need a RT-PCR test to confirm but a false negative result will be very dangerous to the community

Nguyen Huu Dat, a third-year student at Nguyen Tat Than University, who was assigned to support local residents said to perform the rapid test, family members need to prepare tools and other items included in a quick test kit, including test trays, filter caps, test tubes containing extracts, and sterile cotton swabs.

The hardest job is putting the sterile cotton swab into the nostril deep enough for the tip to absorb the most of the new specimen for accurate results, he said.

HCM City residents given guide for COVID-19 self-testing at home hinh anh 2 Phan Dinh Hoang Phuong, who lives in Ho Chi Minh city’s District 3, practise collecting swab samples from one of his relatives for COVID-19 testing. (Photo: VNA)

Phan Dinh Hoang Phuong, who lives in alley 466 Le Van Sy street in District 3’s Ward 14, said he believed that taking COVID-19 testing at home will help him and his family member feel more secure. It allows them to be aware of their infection, have timely quarantine measures and notify local medical facilities, avoiding the spread of COVID-19 to the family and the community.

According to Pham Thi Bich Hanh, head of District 3 Health Centre’s Testing Department, the implementation of a pilot scheme on instructing people to take samples for COVID-19 test at home not only plays an important role in speeding up COVID-19 detection at households but also helps ensure timely zoning off and effective pandemic prevention and control plans. However, she said that people should follow the right process and technique for the most accurate test results.

In the immediate future, District 3's health sector will transfer rapid test kits to wards, once receiving the kits, she said.

Priority will be given to places where there are suspected epidemiological signs such as the red zone, orange zone, yellow zone in line with the demand of localities, Hanh said./.