Kerala to scale up testing for COVID-19, plans random tests to check community transmission

24 April, 2020 | newsx bureau

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan National

After showing an excellent result in curbing the spread of COVID-19 during the lockdown, Kerala is all set for the Random antibody test to check community transmission.

The state government has decided to buy more test kits and has invited bids from authorized distributors, importers, and manufacturers to supply in all two lakh antibody-based testing kits. The main idea behind scaling up tests is to conduct random tests by choosing people from specified professions like police, health officials, delivery boys, and labourers who come in contact with a large section of people.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that these random tests will ensure there is no community spread in the state. In terms of curbing the spread of coronavirus, no doubt the efforts of the government have resulted in flattening the curve during the lockdown and now the state is all set for next phase which is random tests to keep a check on community transmission. Due to the large demand of test kits, there is a shortage of kits as many other states have also opted for random testing.

However, this is still not clear how Kerala takes the plan forward as the Indian Council of Medical Research has ruled out these random tests through the RT-PCR method as it is not cost-effective. Further, the tests conducted at labs take at least six hours to show results.

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Kerala CM

Kerala CM

Moreover, the Rapid Tests which were sent by Indian Council of Medical Research imported from China to keep a check at COVID-19 hotspots have allegedly proved defective after receiving regular complaints from Rajasthan, Kerala, and few more states. Currently, ICMR has asked states not to use Rapid Tests till further orders.