No legal Covid-19 self-tests available in Europe yet, says Van Gucht

No legal Covid-19 self-tests available in Europe yet, says Van Gucht
Credit: Pixabay

The self-tests for Covid-19 that are currently available in Europe are not legal or reliable, health officials said during a press conference on Monday.

"In Europe, there are no legal and reliable self-tests to detect the virus yet," said virologist and interfederal Covid-19 spokesperson Steven Van Gucht. "Do not buy them. They can even contribute to the further spread of the virus."

A self-test, as the name says, is a test carried out by the patient themselves, almost always a rapid test. "The best-known example of a self-test is a pregnancy test," Van Gucht clarified.

Related News

In that case, the sample is taken by the patient, and the interpretation of the test is also done by the patient, instead of by a trained health professional.

"Therefore, it is very important that the instructions of such a self-test are followed very closely," he said. "The result of that test must also be read at a very specific time. If the result is read too early or too late, this leads to an error and possible misinterpretation of the results."

Self-tests are less reliable and less accurate than lab tests, according to Van Gucht, who added that it can also give a false sense of security.

PCR-tests, with a nose swab, remain the gold standard, Van Gucht stressed.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

Latest News

Copyright © 2021 The Brussels Times. All Rights Reserved.