VIENTIANE, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Laos has authorized the use of rapid COVID-19 tests which were previously prohibited.
Director General of the National Center for Laboratory and Epidemiology under the Lao Ministry of Health, Phonepadith Xangsayarath, told a press conference here on Friday that there are many benefits to use rapid test kits, such as being able to see results within 15 to 20 minutes without utilizing a laboratory, and these kits are easy to use.
"However, we must be aware of the limitations of rapid tests, such as unclear test results, and the fact that the test must be undertaken in an environment with a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius or lower. If people test in the heat it will not produce reliable results," said Phonepadith.
He also mentioned that proper disposal of medical waste was a big issue, and users of the rapid tests must understand how to properly dispose of the kits to prevent the further spread of the virus.
Phonepadith said that Laos will allow the use of the rapid tests that are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), and can be found under the WHO's Emergency Use Listing.
The Lao Ministry of Health on Friday reported 28 new imported cases and 406 locally transmitted cases.
As of Friday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Laos has reached 21,080 with 16 deaths.
A total of 16,572 COVID-19 patients have recovered and been discharged from hospitals.
Laos reported its first two confirmed COVID-19 cases on March 24 last year.