Ground Report | New Delhi: Why is Rapid Test banned in China; Corona variant omicron is spreading around the world, which is also increasing the demand for Covid-19 Rapid Test (RAT). Last month, the United States ordered one billion Rapid Test (RAT) and so the White House It was announced that Americans will be able to order rapid tests free of charge from January 19.
China is one of the few countries in the West that relies heavily on rapid tests to reduce the burden of PCR tests for code tests. Which, of course, made the video an overnight sensation.
Why is Rapid Test banned in China
PCR tests look for viral genetic material such as nucleic acids or ‘RNA’ while RATs look for fragments of proteins infected with the virus. PCR tests are generally more accurate than RATs because they are more sensitive. This means that the antigen test requires more complex viruses than the PCR test to show positive results.
By the end of 2021, according to data from China’s National Medical Products Administration, China has approved 68 new COVID-19 test reagents, including 34 nucleic acid testing reagents, 31 antibody testing reagents and only three antigen testing reagents.
Chinese-made RATs worldwide
According to media reports, although the rapid antigen test developed in China has not been approved locally, at least 10 types of these tests manufactured in China have been approved in the USA, Canada, UK, Germany and Greece.
Some critics believe that the reason for not introducing RATs in China is the government’s persistence in implementing China’s ‘zero code strategy’. Xi Chen, an associate professor of economics and health policy at the Yale School of Public Health, said: “China’s decision to maintain a zero-code strategy in the future will determine whether rapid antigen testing is effective. It will remain as it is now. “
Other experts seem to agree with China’s assumption. According to Research Fellow Meisheng Ho of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at the Seneca Academy in Taiwan, “Because RATs are not very sensitive to low viral loads, PCR testing is used in these countries on a priority basis. With the help of which all the corona cases found in society can be diagnosed.
He told Deutsche Welle that it was important for China to identify all those affected, including those with no symptoms. That is why China needs to rely on PCR tests to reach its goals.”
Will China ever use RATs?
Experts seem to agree that as long as China maintains its zero-COVID strategy, it is unlikely that Beijing will start using RATs on a large scale. “Because antigen tests are less sensitive to the virus load, false-negative cases can be a threat to the ZeroVoid strategy,” Zhi Chen, an associate professor at the Yale School of Public Health, told DW.’
Chi, from Oregon State University, also noted that, unlike China, countries that are using large quantities of RATs have shifted their focus from controlling their epidemic measures to efforts to prevent serious symptoms and deaths. Has given
He explained that “if the goal is to prevent serious symptoms and death, as well as to increase the pressure on hospitals, then these countries do not need to worry too much about how accurate the tests are.”
ALSO READ: What is Tamil Wordle, Why is it trending?