Egypt’s medical syndicate warns against rapid tests for health care workers

The Egyptian Medical Syndicate has issued a statement warning the Health Ministry against relying on rapid tests for the medical team in isolation hospitals. The protocol for isolation hospitals stipulates rapid diagnostic tests for coronavirus – antigen – for all medical teams working in quarantine hospitals, immediately upon their arrival and before their departure, and if the test is positive, a swab is taken to be confirmed with a PCR.

These rules contravene WHO guidelines issued on April 8 which recommend against relying on the rapid diagnostic test for diagnosis because these tests may give false positive results and almost half of active cases may be missed, further hampering disease control efforts.

The union sent an official letter to the prime minister to warn of the ministry’s protocol, which will raise infection rates among medical personnel. The syndicate demanded that these instructions be stopped and that PCR tests be conducted before staff members are allowed to leave the quarantine hospitals and be in contact with their families.