ICMR Recommends Rapid Testing For Detecting Coronavirus In Hotspots
The Indian government is currently using PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests to detect the presence of coronavirus in samples of nasal and throat swab collected from people with symptoms or high-risk individuals who might have come in contact with positive patients.
But PCR tests take about five hours for the results to come out. In COVID-19 hotspots or areas that reported a large number of cases, speedy detection of the infected is necessary. So a rapid antibody blood test has to be done for those residing in COVID-19.
Now the rapid antibody test is being recommended by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in its interim advisory for the country’s coronavirus hotspots. On Thursday, the National Task Force formed to deal with the health crisis took the decision for the recommendation at an emergency meeting.
The ICMR suggested in its interim advisory that a rapid antibody test can be used to detect coronavirus positive patients in the hotspot areas. Those who tested positive in antibody testing can be confirmed by the RT-PCR test using the swab collected from the patient’s throat or nose. The antibody negatives need to be quarantinedat home.
20 existing and 22 potential COVID-19 hotspots have been identified by the health ministry across the country. According to the health ministry, antibody tests are the best way to check if COVID-19 is spreading in these hotspots. The antibody tests are similar to other blood tests and the results will be available in just 15-30 minutes.
As per the sources, around 5 lack testing kits have been purchased by India from South Korea, China, and the United States
A dozen of such kits for Covid-19 are given approval by ICMR and they will soon be available in the market.
Rapid testing kits by a Bengaluru-based company are likely to be available soon.