The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today urged governments to accept best-in-class rapid antigen tests in fulfillment of COVID -19 testing requirements based on the latest research findings of OXERA and Edge Health.
According to the joint XERA-Edge Health report, commissioned by IATA, antigen tests are were proven to be accurate, Convenient, and Cost-efficient.
“Restarting international aviation will energize the economic recovery from COVID-19. Along with vaccines, testing will play a critical role in giving governments the confidence to re-open their borders to travelers. For governments, the top priority is accuracy. But travelers will also need tests to be convenient and affordable.
The OXERA-Edge Health report tells us that the best-in-class antigen tests can tick all these boxes. It’s important for governments to consider these findings as they make plans for a re-start,” IATA’s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac stressed.
The report highlighted that the BinaxNOW antigen test, for example, misses just one positive case in 1000 travelers (based on an infection rate of 1% among travelers) while it has similarly comparable performance to PCR tests in levels of false negatives.
The processing times for antigen tests are 100 times faster than for PCR testing and Antigen tests are, on average, 60% cheaper than PCR tests., which IATA believes will be critical aspects for the recovery of the aviation industry as well the tourism industry.
‘When international travel reopens testing is likely to remain part of the strategy for controlling COVID. The type of testing regime chosen will make a difference in how quickly the travel industry recovers. The choice of a rapid test would be a real boost to the global travel and international business community, and our research shows it can be as effective as other testing regimes and as effective as a ten-day quarantine,’ said Michele Granatstein, Partner at Oxera and Head of its Aviation Practice.