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The Ministry of Health said today (Monday) that home rapid antigen tests should be accepted as sufficient for the diagnosis of COVID-19 through Jan. 17.

The advice comes as St. Vincent and the Grenadines responds to an uptick in cases of COVID-19, which has seen the number of vaccinated people testing positive soar to above 600. 

The ministry also offered recommendations that should advise the use of home rapid antigen tests.

A press statement said that a positive rapid antigen home test will be registered as positive by health care providers and reported to the national epidemiologist.

“No further testing would be required,” the press release said.

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It said that clearance from isolation must follow the recommended period for  vaccinated people (five days without symptoms) and 14 days for those who are unvaccinated.

People who test positive are being asked to call their nearest  flu clinic or private health care provider to log their information, which would facilitate the required sick leave and NIS documents needed.

“If symptoms worse in a person who tested positive with an antigen test, the person is advised to contact their nearest flu clinic or private physician for assessment, as persons can deteriorate rapidly if left unmanaged.”

The ministry further advised the public that home rapid antigen test kits should be WHO/FDA/EU listed and in use in the country of manufacture.

“The kits currently being used in the public system by the Ministry of Health, Wellness and Environment are Standard Q, Zhenrui and Roche,” the ministry said.

“The Ministry will monitor the situation and provide further guidance and updates where necessary,” the release said.