Here comes our most popular question. We are inundated with the conversation of:
Which one is better?
Here is a basic fact sheet of what you need to know.
RT-PCR testing is considered the gold standard of testing. It is the MOST accurate method used, to diagnose a COVID-19 infection, with an accuracy rate of 98%. RT-PCR detects the presence of viral RNA, while the antigen test detects viral proteins. Compared to the rapid antigen test, PCR has a broader window of detection when viral loads are at a high concentration. RT-PCR requires a laboratory testing environment with a general turnaround time of 24 hours unless expedited.
Antigen COVID-19 tests are best used when immediate patient care decisions need to be made, as test results are available within 15-30 minutes. A rapid test is generally a high accuracy, but only detects one surface protein of the virus when your body is at the peak of infection
It is also vital to ensure, that all testing, is approved by the Department of Health and all results are being sent to the NICD.
So, what is the verdict? According to the accuracy of the virus test… PCR testing is much more reliable. But In terms of time, rapid antigen testing is a clear winner!