QCOSTARICA – Despite the announcement last Friday by the Ministry of Health authorizing ten private laboratories to perform the antigen test to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes covid-19, they can only perform the PCR test.
For now, those traveling to the United States will only be able to undergo the RT-PCR test for the detection of covid-19, although that country also accepts antigen tests.
Not so good for travelers to countries like Holland that requires both tests.
The reason is that the private laboratories, despite being authorized to perform antigen testing, do not yet have supplies. They are expected to arrive in the country the second week of February.
RT-PCR tests, which until now are the only available in the national market, give results in a maximum of 48 hours. The “recommended” prices for these exams are US$100 in those performed in centers within the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), and US$150 if they are performed outside.
However, users have reported finding prices much lower than the “recommended”.
Unlike the PCR test, the antigen test does not look for the genetic material of the virus but rather to locate proteins. They are faster and can give the result in a matter of a couple of hours or less, because they do not require a molecular biology laboratory.
Also, they are less expensive.
However, the “reference” cost is yet to be defined reported the Cámara Costarricense de la Salud (CCS) – Costa Rican Chamber of Health.
“We are waiting for the supplies, for which the import procedures have already been completed. Private health centers are only waiting for them to arrive in the country. We will know the cost once they are being offered,” stated the CCS.
Once they are available, tests can be performed at the following private laboratories:
- Hospital Clínica Bíblica
- Hospital la Católica
- Hospital Metropolitano
- Laboratorio Hospital Universal
- Laboratorio Cartín
- Laboratorio Cenahce
- Laboratorio Páez
- Laboratorio San José
- Laboratorios Echandi
- Laboratorio Labin