Understanding which type of COVID-19 test people needs to take is something that is still confusing for some people especially when there are so many tests around. From early January 2022, the UK Government reduced the instances in which it is necessary to conduct a PCR test in favor of using more lateral flow tests.
People are concerned after these new changes took place and they want an explanation and logic behind these new rules that came into existence in January. Some may think that these rules have been implemented to help the consumers save money and not have to purchase more expensive testing methods.
WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PCR AND LATERAL FLOW TEST
PCR tests are extremely accurate and they detect the genetic material (RNA) in your PCR test sample. You could have recovered from a virus previously and you still have some amount of virus left in your body. The can also detect if there is any virus in your body, so it is advised that you take a gap of at least 3 months before performing the PCR again.
And LFD tests measure the protein in a sample and they give accurate results if someone is currently infected with covid. Lateral flow tests only work if a good size of the virus is presented in the body. It is critical to decide which test to take in these situations. If someone takes the two times a week there are more chances to stop the infection and if someone has major symptoms then conducting a PCR is more important.
TAKING A CLOSE LOOK AT UK CHANGES TO ITS RULE
If you are tested negative on lateral flow test results you can end isolation on days six and seven days and there is no reason to remain in isolation at that point. UK Government is also thinking about making the isolation period short for everyone. But LFTs aren’t always accurate. People will still have a small amount of virus after even being tested negative.
A new change came out on 11 January in the UK which says that the people who are being tested positive on lateral flow test results can be isolated but they will not take a PCR test. Another factor that is changed is that people will no longer require to take a PCR before traveling unless the country the individual is traveling to has a specific requirement. For example, some countries may request for an LFD test cassette or a PCR test to be taken within 48 Hours.