Sahpra spokesperson Yuven Gounden said discussions with various stakeholders regarding approval of home test kits were under way.
“There are numerous factors considered when approving a product for use, the main ones being the safety, quality and intended use of the product and cost,” he said.
“With the home tests there are numerous factors to consider as well as various stakeholders to be engaged. There are technical requirements that need to be taken into consideration during the discussions, for example usability and sampling to mention a few.”
According to the scientific journal Nature.com, some scientists believe such tests would miss so many infections that if rolled out in their millions they could cause more harm than good.
Public health lawyer Safura Abdool Karim said home-test kits could ease the burden on labs and allow for quicker results.
“However, the home tests don’t generate results that can be used for things like travel or medical purposes, so their value is only for people to be informed of their status more quickly and isolate as well as ease the burden on labs to enable faster turnaround for PCRs,” she said.