Rapid Test Procedure for Corona Virus in Indonesia
In an effort to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus, the government has begun to conduct rapid tests in several regions in Indonesia. Actually, what is a rapid test? Can everyone undergo this procedure?
The number of people who are positively infected by the Corona virus (COVID-19) in Indonesia is increasing day by day. In order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus even more broadly, President Joko Widodo instructed to conduct a rapid test, especially in several regions in Indonesia which have high COVID-19 cases.
This test is intended so that the government and health workers can find out who has the potential to spread the Coronavirus and take precautions so that the number of COVID-19 cases does not increase.
What is a Rapid Test?
Rapid test is an initial screening method to detect antibodies, namely IgM and IgG, which are produced by the body to fight the Corona virus. These antibodies will be formed by the body when there is exposure to the Coronavirus.
In other words, if these antibodies are detected in a person’s body, this means that the person’s body has been exposed or entered by the Corona virus. However, you need to know, the formation of these antibodies takes time, even up to several weeks.
So, the rapid test is just a screening or screening test, not an examination to diagnose Coronavirus infection or COVID-19.
Procedure and Interpretation of Rapid Test Results
The rapid test procedure begins with taking a blood sample from the tip of the finger which is then dripped into a rapid test kit. Next, the liquid to mark the antibody will be dropped in the same place. The result will be a line that appears 10-15 minutes after that.
Positive results on the rapid test indicate that the person examined had been infected with the Corona virus. Even so, people who have been infected with the Coronavirus and have this virus in their body can get negative rapid test results, because their bodies have not formed antibodies against the Corona virus.
Therefore, if the results are negative, a rapid test should be repeated 7-10 days after that.
Well, if your rapid test results are positive, don’t panic yet. The antibodies detected in the rapid test may be antibodies to other viruses or other types of coronaviruses, not those that cause COVID-19.
That is why, people who have positive rapid test results need to do a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) that can detect the Coronavirus directly, not through the presence or absence of antibodies to this virus. This PCR test is what confirms a positive person is infected with the Corona virus.
If you are positively infected with the Coronavirus, you must undergo independent isolation at home even if you have no symptoms at all and feel healthy.
Avoid traveling and contact with other people who live at home, while applying a clean and healthy lifestyle. Apply physical distancing, i.e. keep a distance of at least 1 meter from others and wear a mask when having to interact with others.
During this independent isolation, monitor your health. If COVID-19 symptoms appear, such as coughing, fever, hoarseness, and shortness of breath, immediately contact a health care facility or COVID-19 hotline to get further tests.
Not Everybody Can Do a Rapid Test
Due to limited equipment, not everyone can undergo this procedure simultaneously. According to the Government of West Java Province, the rapid test is prioritized for the community with the following categories:
- Category A, namely the community with the highest risk of contracting, such as people in monitoring (ODP), patients under surveillance (PDP) and their families, neighbors, and relatives, and also health workers in hospitals that handle COVID-19.
- Category B, namely people who work in health centers or clinics, as well as people with professions with high social interaction (TNI, police, public officials, scholars, airport officials, or market traders).
- Category C, namely people who have symptoms of COVID-19 based on information from health facilities, not their own diagnosis.
If you are outside of these categories, you are encouraged to continue to take steps to prevent transmission of the Coronavirus by washing your hands regularly, maintaining endurance, doing social distancing or what is now called physical distancing, and not going out of the house except for urgent interests.