India to Release Covid-19 Rapid Testing Guidelines Soon

Covid-19 Rapid Testing

With the availability of fast blood tests for Covid-19, India will soon issue comprehensive guidelines for the use of such rapid tests. The policy focuses on modalities, such as how the tests should be conducted in areas of high-risk, low-risk zones, hotspots, etc.

For three days, the Expert Task Force, headed by Dr. Randeep Guleria, Director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi, reviewed the evaluation requirements for India.

On the conditions of anonymity, one member of the task force said, “Since it is a sensitive matter as rapid testing has its pros and cons, the matter needed to be thought through. All parameters need to be considered before a national-level guideline is brought out.”

on Thursday, an interim advisory for the use of rapid antibody tests (blood testing) for Covid 19 was released by the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR), considering the hotspots that have been increasing in the country and all containment steps required for rapid results.

The advisory issued by the ICMR cites that Hotspot communities can be tested with simple antibody scanning. And positive antibody to be confirmed by RT-PCR with throat / nasal swab and negative antibody to be quarantined in the home.

“It is meant for getting quick results when there is a large number of people to be tested. It will help in knowing the exact disease burden in a short span of time, which is the need of the hour. However, to ensure there are no false positives or false negatives, we recommend confirmatory PCR-based test for all positive results,” said an official of the ICMR.

The ICMR had indicated an interest in the procurement of one million antibody testing kits from manufacturers worldwide. However, the figure was revised up to 0.5 million test kits due to the global supply shortage. The first shipment of the testing kits is likely to come by this weekend.

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