Doctors are warned they could be JAILED for using controversial COVID-19 ‘rapid blood tests’ to get a result within 10 minutes
- Blood tests also labelled ‘rapid tests’ to detect COVID-19 banned in Queensland
- The tests claim to detect coronavirus antibodies in blood within 10 minutes
- Health professionals say the tests are more likely to provide a false negative
- This could prompt the spread of the virus if false cases ignore isolation rules
- Doctors who use the coronavirus rapid tests could be jailed for six months
Australian doctors have been warned they could be jailed for using a controversial coronavirus ‘rapid test’ on patients.
But the use of coronavirus blood tests were restricted by Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young under the Public Health Act in April.
Breaches of the restrictions are punishable by six months imprisonment and health professionals have warned the contentious tests could help spread the virus.
Australian doctors who use a coronavirus ‘rapid test’ (pictured above) could be jailed for six months over fears the blood test could spread the virus by providing false negatives
Infinity Biotech, owned by PPE Direct Pty Ltd, developed the OnSite Coronavirus9 IgG/IgM Rapid Test to detect coronavirus antibodies within 10 minutes.
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners urged health professionals to avoid using the test as it may only detect the virus after several days of infection.
‘The issue is with false reassurance, so after contracting COVID-19 it takes a bit of time for those tests to turn positive,’ Dr Bruce Willett told Daily Mail Australia.
‘And the concern is that if people do these tests too early in the course of the illness they will get a false negative result.
‘They may then ignore advice about isolating and normal social distancing precautions.’
Doctors have been banned from using the blood tests unless they fit into a small range of exemptions, including providing pathology services for Pathology Queensland.
The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia also said coronavirus rapid tests ‘have no role to play in the acute diagnosis of COVID-19’.
The rapid coronavirus tests (traditional coronavirus testing pictured) claim to detect coronavirus antibodies in the bloodstream within 10 minutes
‘COVID-19 IgG/IgM rapid tests will miss patients in the early stages of disease when they are infectious to other people,’ a statement said.
A spokeswoman for Infinity Biotech said the company had complied with the coronavirus regulations in place across Australia.
‘This restriction is for medical practitioners to comply with, so if you have further concerns, please direct them to your local medical practitioner or Queensland Health.’
A Queensland Health spokesman urged medical professionals to consult the Public Health Act before utilising rapid coronavirus tests.
‘The Chief Health Officer has issued a public health direction relating to the use of point-of-care serology testing to detect or diagnose COVID-19,’ he said.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Infinity Biotech for comment.
The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia and The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners have both condemned the rapid blood tests (COVID-19 testing pictured)