Diagnostics for COVID-19: moving from pandemic response to control

Diagnostics have proven to be crucial to the COVID-19 pandemic response. There are
three major methods for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 infection and their role has evolved
during the course of the pandemic. Molecular tests such as PCR are highly sensitive
and specific at detecting viral RNA, and are recommended by WHO for confirming diagnosis
in individuals who are symptomatic and for activating public health measures. Antigen
rapid detection tests detect viral proteins and, although they are less sensitive
than molecular tests, have the advantages of being easier to do, giving a faster time
to result, of being lower cost, and able to detect infection in those who are most
likely to be at risk of transmitting the virus to others.

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