Recently, some self-medias said that the coronavirus test kit can be used to self-check whether being infected with the virus in the United States, Australia, Europe and other countries, giving results within 15 minutes. Some netizens asked why such products are not used in China market?
The reporter verified that some domestic companies have indeed produced new coronavirus test kits and exported them to above mentioned countries and regions. However, the principle of this new type coronavirus test kit is different from that of the Chinese nucleic acid test: the new coronavirus test kits in overseas market mainly use "antigen test reagents"; Chinese designated institutions conduct "nucleic acid test reagents" test. The test time and sensitivity of these two test reagents are different.
In the application scenarios of medical institutions in overseas markets, both coronavirus nucleic acid testing and antigen testing are used. However, nucleic acid testing is the "gold standard" for diagnosis. In terms of home self-test, most kits use antigen test reagents, and only a few using nucleic acid test reagents. Taking the United States as an example, there are currently only 3 home self-service nucleic acid test products approved by the U.S. FDA and the price for a single test is as high as hundreds of dollars; The most common local self-test is antigen test kit.
Antigen test kits can indeed perform self-screening. It is more sensitive to screen whether people are infected with coronavirus especially when symptoms such as cough and fever are present. However, it is difficult for antigen test kits to detect early or asymptomatic infections, and the omission rate for early infections and asymptomatic infections is higher.
According to our country's "Dynamic Zero" goal, we always insist on quickly eradicating one epidemic when one is detected, and it is necessary to be able to detect the initial stage of infection and asymptomatic infections as soon as possible. Therefore, the use of nucleic acid test reagents is more targeted, and it is also the best way for China to control the epidemic with the highest efficiency and the lowest cost within shortest time.