ARTs remain effective as a method of detecting COVID-19, including Omicron cases.
Infectious disease experts in Singapore said that the current strategy of relying on ART kits remains relevant and urged people to regularly test themselves and self-isolate if they suspect they have the virus.
There is no conclusive evidence to show that ART is less effective in detecting Omicron, said infectious diseases experts.
Rather, the sensitivity rate for ART improves to more than 90 per cent if done frequently and consistently over three to five days daily, said Dr Leong Hoe Nam of Rophi Clinic.
Experts have also said that Omicron has a viral load that is comparable to the earlier Alpha and Beta strains, which ART kits were initially designed for.
In the latest update, Geneva University Hospital has performed a comparison of the performance of the FlowFlex ART against several other brands including Standard Q and Panbio using clinical specimens with Omicron and Delta Variants.
FlowFlex has a sensitivity of 91.2% against Delta and 88.9% against Omicron variant.
Panbio has a sensitivity of 67.7% against Delta and 36.1% against Omicron variant.
Standard Q has a sensitivity of 52.9% against Delta and 22.2% against Omicron variant.
These results lend confidence that ARTs remain effective as a method of detecting COVID-19, including Omicron cases.
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