Rapid Test Positives to Be Counted as COVID Cases Starting May 26 新規上路 快篩陽經視訊問診後即判定確診

Starting on Thursday, May 26, rapid test results can be used by all Taiwan residents in place of PCR tests to confirm COVID-19 infections. 

The doctor asked questions about the patient's conditions through a video call appointment. This is called the coronavirus; it affects our respiratory tracts. After confirming that the patient has contracted COVID-19, the doctor provided clinical instructions for home care. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that starting on the 26th, rapid antigen tests can be used by all Taiwan residents in place of PCR tests to confirm COVID-19 infections. Patients can then be qualified faster for COVID medication evaluations. It is hoped that high-risk patients can receive the medicine as soon as possible to prevent their conditions from deteriorating.

Che Tsan-wei, Pediatrician: “First of all, more people will be booking doctor's appointments for sure. Some people don't know yet that positive rapid test results are now equal to positive PCR test results. Yesterday, for example, I told some patients through video call that if they felt sick yesterday already and got tested positive with rapid tests, they should not have delayed until today to see the doctor, thinking that they still need to book PCR tests.”

Doctors are now extremely busy at the clinics since they have to see regular patients while also allocating time to go online with COVID patients. A doctor's appointment can usually be done in 5 minutes, but it gets longer with video call appointments. Sometimes doctors have to wait for patients to find their health insurance cards and positive rapid test cassettes, or the bad internet connection makes it hard for doctors and patients to carry on a smooth conversation quickly.

Che Tsan-wei, Pediatrician: “It takes about 15 minutes to get through with one video call appointment. It takes a long time especially when there's a bad internet connection, the patient can't hear my voice and I can't hear the patient's voice. So, this is how we do it. We have to do the video call first so I can take a look at how the patient is overall. Then, if possible, I will switch to a phone call afterwards, but before that, I need to screenshot a picture of the patient holding his or her health insurance card, with me also in the picture.”

Doctors have to repeatedly remind patients what they need to show for the screenshot. If a smooth internet connection is not available at home for the patient, family members can help bring the patient's health insurance card to the clinic to get the doctor's evaluation.