The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) informee that the rapid antibody based blood test for COVID-19 will be performed by this Wednesday in clusters and hot spots showing high incidence of positive cornovirus cases.
Head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases Division of the ICMR explained that over all testing for COVID-19 using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a laboratory technique combining reverse transcription of RNA into DNA, is increasing and that India will be approaching full capacity soon.
“At the same time, we are expecting delivery of Rapid Test kits (blood based) for use in response to COVID-19 situation. By Wednesday this should be up and running,” he added. National Task Force deliberated with experts for ascertaining use of these rapid test kits. We aim to start rapid antibody based blood test in clusters (with containment zones), and in large migration evacuees centres” he added.
The Health Ministry also added that all the states and union territories have been issued guidelines for implementing these tests and reports will be entered to the ICMR portal similar to results of real-time RT PCR tests for COVID-19.
The Health Ministry has said that testing has to be focused and judiciously done, even when it is scaled-up.
It added that contact-tracing is vital for this and is now greatly enabled by the AarogyaSetu App. “RT-PCR test detects the virus and the antibody tests, which use blood, detect the body’s response to the virus. A positive results tells that the body was exposed to the virus. The antibody tests, even when used for screening, must be used with care, as with all tests, and interpreted by a professional. As of now, when so used, they can inform how groups of people have been exposed,” explained the Ministry.