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The omicron variant has already infiltrated India and has begun to wreak havoc on the population. Restrictions are already in order and the government is doing all it can to curb the spread of the virus. Most flights from many countries have been restricted and travelers are requested to take a COVID test after arriving at any international airport in India. When it comes to COVID tests, there are two tests available namely the RT-PCR test and the Rapid Antigen Test. Most travelers and even emergency workers opt for the Rapid Antigen Test in Delhi or at any other airport in India because it delivers results faster. But, the reliability of the rapid antigen test has become a concern as the virus is undergoing more and more mutations.

What is the Rapid Antigen Test?

The Rapid Antigen Test is a lateral flow test that can detect the presence of antigens. This test is commonly used to detect the presence of the COVID-19 virus within an individual. It can provide results very fast and does not require huge infrastructure. This test can be conducted quite easily by trained medical professionals. Fast results have made this test very popular for the detection of the COVID-19 virus. Generally speaking, people who opt for the rapid antigen test in Delhi or any other city can receive results within 1 hour while people who opt for the RT-PCR test have to wait a minimum of 8-10 hours to receive their results.

Can a Rapid Antigen Test Detect Omicron Effectively?

The rapid antigen test has been a popular choice for many travelers and emergency workers who want to get their results faster. Even though the rapid antigen test is more expensive than the RT-PCR test, people have often opted for the former option because of its timely results. However, recent studies have found that the rapid antigen test in Delhi or taken in a different city may not be successful in detecting the omicron variant in the early stages of infection.

According to the studies on the rapid antigen test in Delhi and other places in India such as Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, and more, the test has been found to have a lower sensitivity in detecting the new COVID variant omicron. So far, it has worked wonderfully in detecting all other variants effectively even when the infection was in its early stages. The rapid antigen test’s performance has dimmed quite a bit when it comes to this new super spreading variant. Nonetheless, it remains a popular choice for testing when you have limited time.

RT-PCR vs Rapid antigen test

On the contrary, the RT-PCR test has been able to successfully find the presence of infection even in the early stages of testing. This test has detected the omicron variant easily even though the samples were collected at the same time. The results are indeed slow to be reported, but its efficiency surpasses that of the rapid antigen test in Delhi and in other places. The study has said that the RT-PCR test was able to detect the virus two days earlier than the rapid antigen test. The difference may not be very stark but one shouldn’t ignore the fact that the omicron variant is spreading rapidly and within two days the infection may spread to innumerable people if not detected on time.

Should you take a Rapid antigen test?

The rapid antigen test in Delhi or in any other city is an ideal test for people who are in a hurry to travel or work. It is advisable to opt for an RT PCR later if you are experiencing any symptoms. You can opt for both tests to know for sure if you have an infection. This will help you become doubly sure of the results and avoid infecting others.

The rapid antigen test may be a good choice for many people but studies are clearly showing that the results are not very reliable. Therefore, people who will be traveling from abroad should quarantine themselves for a minimum of one week to make sure they are free from the virus. It doesn’t matter if the result is negative, people opting for the rapid antigen test should be extra careful not to mingle with too many people in case they do have the virus.