DOH says antigen test not recommended for Christmas parties

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 09 2022 05:29 PM

 Locals attend the lighting of a Christmas tree at the Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan City on Dec. 2, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Locals attend the lighting of a Christmas tree at the Pinaglabanan Shrine in San Juan City on Dec. 2, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Using antigen test to screen those attending Christmas parties for COVID-19 is not recommended, the Department of Health said Friday.

In a press briefing, DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said antigen tests are more accurate when they are used in people who have symptoms of COVID-19.

"'Pag ginagamit po natin ang antigen test for screening, which is really not recommended, you might get false positive or false negative results. This would just give you inaccurate management," she said.

A false negative result may lead to COVID-19 transmission, Vergeire said. 

Meanwhile, a person may experience "mental anguish" by being not able to attend the party due to a false positive result, she added.

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The health official urged the public to employ health screening instead of using antigen tests.

If experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 like runny nose, stay home, Vergeire said.

Wearing of mask during parties will also reduce the spread of COVID-19, she stressed.

The DOH has called on the public to get vaccinated to be more protected against COVID-19 during the holiday season.

As of Dec. 8, the Philippines has 17,994 active COVID-19 cases. Confirmed cases are those that tested RT-PCR positive by a DOH-RITM laboratory.