Mon district set to use rapid antigen test kits

Mon district set to use rapid antigen test kits
Paiwang handing over the antigen testing kit to DC Mon. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, JUL 24 (NPN) | Publish Date: 7/24/2020 1:51:44 PM IST

Amidst the spike in COVID-19 cases across Nagaland, rapid antigen test kit was introduced in Mon district on Friday to ramp up testing. 

Minister in charge of Mon district P Paiwang Konyak donated 1,000 rapid antigen test, antibody test and confirmatory kits each to Mon District Task Force (DTF). Following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in the State, Mon was one of the few districts that took a proactive approach of combating the virus by procuring PPE kits from China for the frontline workers, Truenat machines and came out with local standard operating procedure (SOP) under which returnees were made to stay additional 14 days at quarantine centres, among many other such initiatives. 

Even for COVID recovery cases, the patients were not released till they tested negative thrice.

Speaking to Nagaland Post, Paiwang said the rapid antigen kits and antibody test kits would now be used in the district. He added the kits would be distributed in border sub-divisions like Tizit, Tobu and Wakching.

He said medical officers would train staff on using rapid antigen kits in remotest parts of the district to keep track of contact tracing and in containment zones as it was difficult to collect samples from such areas.

According to the minister, all returnees from outside the district would be tested, adding that option would also be given to the returnees and travellers whether they would like to undergo test by Truenat or rapid antigen kit. He said Truenat test would be free but Rs 504 would be charged for rapid antigen kit test.

For government-sponsored returnees and frontline workers, he said tests would be done by Truenat machine and later RT-PCR performed for confirmation at ICMR centre, Dibrugarh. He informed this correspondent that, if DTF wanted, rapid antigen test kit would be utilised for emergency purposes too without any charges.

Sensing the need of the kits, the legislator also assured to buy more in future. Rapid antigen kit was approved by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) with an aim to evaluate its sensitivity, specificity and feasibility of use as a point-of-care test for early detection of SARS-CoV-2 and its cost of Rs 450 was low.


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