Some 1.5 million COVID-19 antibody tests bought by the Federal Government aren’t accurate enough to be used in Australia, a report has found.
According to the report, the tests bought by the Government are too inaccurate for wide community use, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The fingerprick blood tests which looked similar to a pregnancy test were supposed to be able to return a result within about 10 minutes. Patients with antibodies in their blood would return a black bar in the test window.
The antibody tests were supposed to be distributed soon after they arrived in March, but a report commissioned by Health Minister Greg Hunt said they were not ready for widespread deployment.
Australian National University Professor Carola Vinuesa, one of the report’s co-authors, said the tests are not useful.
“At the moment, the quality does not seem to be good enough for these tests to be deployed in large scale,” she said.
“The sensitivity is not very good. They are not useful in being able to say, ‘You were infected.’”
The goal had been for the tests to be quickly rolled out to GP clinics however the report said, “Neither type of serological test is currently ready for widespread deployment.”
Australia has 6966 coronavirus cases, with 6229 recovered and 97 deaths, according to data released on Tuesday night.