The Lao National Taskforce for Covid-19 Prevention and Control has urged residents to be cautious of fake or ineffective Covid-19 rapid test kits.
Sales of Rapid Test Kits have flooded social media in Laos after the government approved their use in Lao on 25 September.
However, Dr. Lattanaxay Phetsouvanh, Director-General of the Department of Communicable Disease Control, under the Ministry of Health, said during an announcement by the National Taskforce today that health officials are concerned about fake tests kits being sold online.
“So far, authorities have only utilized rapid Covid-19 tests in emergency situations and during medical services provided by experts,” said Dr. Lattanaxay.
“Online sellers have begun offering rapid test kits for sale, particularly on social media, without considering the quality or effectiveness,” said Director-General Lattanaxay.
He said that fake rapid test kits have been found in other countries, with some counterfeit test kits providing only a negative result.
“We ask everyone to use only rapid test kits that have been approved by the Ministry of Health,” said Dr. Lattanaxay, saying that Laos will only allow the use of rapid tests that are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), and can be found under the WHO’s Emergency Use List.
Meanwhile, Dr. Lattanaxay raised concerns regarding the disposal of test kits, which must be done properly to avoid infecting others.
Laos officially announced it had authorized the use of rapid Covid-19 tests last week, after stringently banning such kits since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As cases mount in the capital, health officials in Laos admit that the use of rapid test kits is beneficial overall, providing results within 15 to 20 minutes, and easing the burden on laboratories.