Martek Lifecare launches COVID-19 occupational screening tests
Published: 21 April 2020 - Rachael Morling
Preventing COVID-19 transmission into the workplace is now amongst the highest priorities for all company executives and it’s widely accepted that testing is key to the global exit strategy from the disease. Martek Lifecare (Martek), part of James Fisher and Sons, has launched COVID-19 occupational screening, combining antigen and antibody testing. Both kinds of tests help employers make decisions about measures to prevent an outbreak and inform critical return to work decisions.
Martek’s Antigen tests screen directly for the virus itself providing soonest possible detection. Samples are taken using swabs from the nose and throat and are sent to a UKAS accredited laboratory for machine processing, delivering results within 2 days.
By implementing a combined antibody and antigen test protocol, esteemed medical opinion reports a 98.6% detection rate within the first 5.5 days of infection1. Infected employees without symptoms pose the biggest risk to employers and an article in the British Medical Journal3 reports that four fifths of cases are asymptomatic. According to McKinsey2, studies in China and Singapore report that asymptomatic transmission may account for ~50% of cases.
Such employees left undiagnosed (i.e. without pre- screening) would potentially spread the infection throughout the workplace, while being totally oblivious. Antibody tests are the most effective and appropriate way to diagnose this category of subject, with 97% clinical specificity. Research by McKinsey concludes that, “Antibody tests are currently the best method for detecting asymptomatic cases”.
Martek’s CoronaSafe antibody test is approved and certified by the European Union as meeting the safety, quality and performance requirements of Standard IVDD 98/79/EC - the highest standard applicable for these devices. It’s also in wide scale use by authorities/corporations in Japan, China, Germany, Poland, Indonesia and is formally certified by the China Food and Drug Administration, Philippines Food and Drug Administration and the Singapore Health Sciences Authority.
Martek’s CEO Paul Luen commented: “Screening employees through a regimen of combined antigen and antibody testing is a critical step to prevent avoidable transmission from asymptomatic employees while informing critical return to work decisions.”