Coronavirus (COVID-19) Collection
- Given the increase in cases of SARS-CoV-2 infections worldwide, there is a need for a reliable rapid diagnostic test in addition to existing gold standard real-time RT-PCR. Rapid antigen tests (RAT) for SARS-CoV-2 can be performed onsite in mass testing, are inexpensive compared to real-time RT-PCR, do not require specific and expensive equipment, and the results are available within 15 min (CDC, 2021), which could serve to evaluate chains of infection and their interruption. A recent meta-analysis revealed that the average sensitivity and specificity of RAT for SARS-CoV-2 were 56.2% and 99.5%, respectively (Dinnes et al., 2020).
- The burden of asymptomatic Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) on clinical practice and epidemiological control remains a challenge, particularly due to the high potential of transmission (Al-Sadeq and Nasrallah, 2020; Arons et al., 2020). While several nosocomial outbreaks have been reported (Arons et al., 2020; Roxby et al., 2020), most studies focused on the role of asymptomatic hospitalized patients (Passarelli et al., 2020; Rhee et al., 2020). However, hospital visitors’ impact on viral shedding in healthcare facilities remains underestimated.
- In South Korea, the first coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) case was confirmed on January 20, 2020 (Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare and Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). With proactive containment efforts, comprehensive contact tracing, and extensive testing of symptomatic or high risk individuals for COVID-19, South Korea was able to flatten the curve of new COVID-19 infections by mid-March (Korea Ministry of Health and Welfare and Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020; Song et al., 2020).
- The novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; SARS-CoV-2), which is the cause of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), first reported in Wuhan, China, has spread across the world and has been characterized by the World Health Organization as a global pandemic (Bedford et al., 2020). In February 2020, at the port of Yokohama, Japan, an outbreak of COVID-19 among passengers and crew of the Diamond Princess cruise ship occurred, with approximately 700 confirmed cases.
- In a recent paper, Nishiura et al. (2020) estimated the asymptomatic rate of COVID-19 cases among Japanese nationals who were tested upon returning to Japan from abroad. The authors estimated the proportion of positive COVID-19 cases that were asymptomatic to be 30.8% (95% confidence interval: 7.7%, 53.8%).