COVID-19: Assam suspends rapid test after ICMR advisory

GUWAHATI, APR 22 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 4/22/2020 9:58:15 AM IST

Assam government has suspended the rapid antibody tests for the next two days in view of the advisory issued by the Indian Council of Medical Research, reports ANI.

Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted “In view of the advisory issued by ICMR, the state government has suspended Rapid Anti Body tests, for the next two days.”

Earlier, he had tweeted, “From April 22, we shall begin Rapid Antibody tests, from Spanish Garden – a containment zone. The government of India has given 9,600 Rapid Antibody test kits for IgM/IgG to coronavirus. 

The test is non-confirmatory yet useful for mass surveillance in containment areas as it gives results in 15 mnts.

The ICMR on Tuesday advised the states to stop using COVID-19 rapid testing kits for the time being owing to big variations in their results and said that it would issue an advisory in this regard in the next two days.

During a press briefing in Delhi, ICMR head scientist Dr. R Gangakhedkar said, “The states have been advised to not use the COVID-19 rapid testing kits for two days. A lot of variations are being reported in the results of rapid test kits. 

The kits will be tested and validated by on-ground teams and we will give advisory in the next two days.”

Gangakhedkar said the step has been taken after receiving a complaint from a state.

“The rapid test kits have been distributed to states. Yesterday, we got a complaint from a state that these kits’ results are not satisfactory. 

Today, we asked three more states and got to know that positive samples are showing a lot of variation — from 6 percent to 71 percent. This is not a good thing,” he said.

“We cannot ignore these findings. We have decided to send members from our eight institutes to the field in the next two days. 

The kits will be tested and validated by on-ground teams and we will give advisory in the next two days,” he further said.


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