Wits University to study the reliability of Covid-19 rapid tests

Picture: iStock

They have urged for 300 Joburg residents who have tested positive for Covid-19 to participate in a voluntary test conducted by the National Health Laboratory Service.

The University of Witwatersrand is conducting a study on whether the rapid test kits being brought and widely used in the country are effective.

The City of Joburg posted on their site that the collaborative scientific endeavour will be carried out to examine the efficacy of the rapid test kits required from people who contracted coronavirus or those who have antibodies for the pandemic.

They have urged for 300 Joburg residents who meet these requirements to participate in a voluntary test conducted by the National Health Laboratory Service.

Wits University Head of Immunology and Principal Investigator Professor Elizabeth Mayne said: “We are under pressure to find test kits that work. If the results aren’t accurate, someone could believe they don’t have coronavirus, not self-isolate and go on to infect others.”

The study has been approved by the university’s Human Research Ethics Committee.

“Participants will be tested by a nurse wearing full personal protective equipment in the comfort of their homes. The nurse will take around eight teaspoons of blood, some saliva and some mouth/throat swabs,” Mayne said.

Volunteers may be requested to provide personal information such as their age, underlying conditions like high blood pressure and chronic lung diseases, any medication being taken when they tested positive, travel history and asked if they had any symptoms.
Residents interested in the study may contact Professor Mayne on elizabeth.mayne@nhls.ac.za or telephone 082 337 6349.
(Compiled by Sandisiwe Mbhele)

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