‘False security’: WHO advises against using COVID-19 rapid test as travel requirement

first_imgDespite the WHO’s stance, the Indonesian COVID-19 task force allows the nonreactive rapid test result as a valid health document required for passengers traveling domestically by land, sea or air, according to its latest circular on June 26. The rapid test document is valid to use for 14 days.The regulation was issued after transportation companies were heavily impacted by the pandemic, as social restrictions prompted people to avoid travel.The ministry’s spokesperson, Adita Irawati, during the discussion acknowledged that the ministry was not on board with the WHO’s recommendation on the use of rapid tests, citing that the ministry followed the briefing from the country’s COVID-19 task force instead.“I understand that the WHO does not support referring to rapid test results for diagnosis. However, as long as there are no changes from the task force, we will make it a requirement in all types of transportation,” she said.The government’s COVID-19 task force spokesperson, Wiku Adisasmito, did not immediately respond to The Jakarta Post’s questions regarding reasons for retaining the rapid test as a travel requirements despite the WHO’s disapproval.Furthermore, state-owned railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) commerce director Maqin Norhadi said the company was providing a rapid test facility at railway stations to test passengers who had yet to acquire the health document.“We are providing a rapid test service at several stations at a low price. KAI as a public transportation operator should protect the health of its passengers,” he said during the discussion.Flag-carrier Garuda Indonesia’s business development director Ade Susardi said burdensome and frequently changing travel requirements had dissuaded the public from using air transportation.According to Garuda Indonesia’s internal survey, while 73 percent of respondents feel confident to fly in the next 6 months, only 12 percent of respondents had gone ahead to purchase airline tickets.“The public is confused about which tests should they take and documents to be prepared. The requirement is also a bit complicated for airline passengers,” he said.Read also: Airlines adopt strict new health protocolsIndonesia set another daily record in confirmed COVID-19 cases and fatalities on Thursday, recording 3,622 new infections and 134 deaths linked to the disease. The increase brings the country’s tally to more than 184,200 and 7,750 fatalities.Indonesia now has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia after the Philippines.Topics : The WHO released a scientific brief on April 8 regarding the use of rapid antigen and antibody tests, in which the agency does not recommend the use of either rapid test for patient care.According to the brief, the rapid antibody test detects antibody response to the COVID-19 virus, while the majority of patients develop only in the second week after the onset of symptoms, leaving the potential for a false negative. The rapid antigen test’s sensitivity varies between 34 and 80 percent.Indonesian experts have also long voiced concerns over the widespread use of rapid antibody tests for COVID-19 as requirements for various activities during the pandemic, including for traveling. According to the Association of Indonesia’s Clinical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine specialists (PDS PatKLIn), many of the rapid antibody test brands used in the country had sensitivity and specificity lower than 50 percent. Read also: Doubts loom over widespread use of rapid tests in virus-stricken Indonesia The World Health Organization (WHO) Indonesia Office stated that the agency did not recommend the COVID-19 rapid antibody test as a requirement to travel, citing the test’s low accuracy level and fearing that a nonreactive result could provide a false sense of security.WHO national professional officer Dina Kania on Thursday said the agency urged travelers to adopt strict health protocols instead.“What’s more important is that sick persons should not travel, and all passengers must always use face coverings and maintain their physical distancing as it is proven to be more effective. The rapid test could create a false sense of security which could lead passengers to disregard the protocols,” she said in an online seminar held by the Indonesian Global Compact Network (IGCN).last_img read more


first_imgDONEGAL taxi drivers are threatening to leave the HSE without emergency back-up.The Irish Drivers Association spokesman in Donegal says they have been inundated with calls in relation to the new registration for taxi drivers.In mid Jan every taxi driver in the county had been contacted by the National Transport Association that they must register by Jan 31 or face a €40 on the spot fine. “Every driver must phone the NTA at the start of every shift but this has been taking up to 45 mins to place the call and costing drivers in some cases €6 for the call,” said Mr Doherty.“The NTA has furnished each driver with a website that they can login to to register. But the website dosent work. I’ve meet with different drivers over the weekend and they have showed me that they can’t get past the login page. They are then redirected to the helpline which is costing upto €6 for every call. This means it’s going to cost every driver €6 per shift.“This leaves Drivers that they may no longer be in a position to take an emergency call from hospitals in some cases getting a Gardai escort to the border to collect specialist doctors from Airports to attend a bad road traffic accident or in some case where doctors are involved with organ Donar Removal and transport.“Drivers have stated that they are been discriminated against as one section of the community and stated that they have been bullied into handing over very personal details like DOB. Address phone number. SPSV number PSV badge Number. “And worst of all one driver said that PRSI numbers were being passed around like snuff at a wake. He explained to me that he was of the understanding that his PRSI number was covered under the Data protection act due to the recent duplicating scandal of PRSI numbers.“The driver explained to me now his number will be distributed between the NTA. Revenue and the Taxi regulator who will have this in paper form on the roadside doing roadside checks he said who knows now where his details will end up as it’s not the first time records have been lost or stolen by departments.“This seems to have been hashed through by the different departments without any consultation with Taxi operators or indeed to the individuals.” DONEGAL TAXI DRIVERS’ ANGER AT NEW HSE CALL-OUT SYSTEM was last modified: February 4th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DONEGAL TAXI DRIVERS ANGER AT NEW HSE CALL-OUT SYSTEMlast_img read more