After many states flagged concerns over the efficacy of the rapid test kits – the centre has advised the states not to use rapid test kits for 48-hours. The ICMR is also set to send a team to check some of these kits. Many variations were reported in the results of the rapid testing kits which needs to be checked thoroughly. In the next two days, the kits will be tested & validated in the field by health ministry. States have been advised not to use these kits for the next two days until an advisory is issued by the centre, said the ICMR. In a joint press conference with the health ministry, the ICMR also said that if there is any issue with the batch of these testing kits, then they will be replaced as well.
Earlier, Rajasthan govt had stopped using rapid testing kits for coronavirus after they delivered inaccurate results. The kits gave only 5.4% accurate results as against the expected 90% accuracy, said the State Health Minister Raghu Sharma. A committee comprising of heads of medicine at the Sawai Man Singh govt hospital has been set up meanwhile by the stat government to examine the accuracy of the results. Around 170 tests were conducted in the state’s hotspots, including Jaipur, since Friday. The kits were also used to double-check the positive cases but the tests came out negative, raising a big question mark on the efficacy of these tests.
Rapid tests take about 15-mins to reliever results as compared to the conventional RT-PCR tests. The Centre had last month issued tenders for the procurement of 5 lakh antibody test kits. Meanwhile, ICMR’s Dr Raman Gangakhedkar said that around 4 lakh 49 thousand tests have been conducted so far. Out of which 35,852 samples were tested yesterday, in which 29,776 were were conducted in ICMR network labs, said Dr Raman Gangakhedkar.