Various States across the nation are set to receive over half a million antibody testing kits from the Union Government within a week as the country is now embarking on intensified testing regime in the identified containment zones and clusters, reports Hindustan Times.
The orders for about 5,00,000 rapid testing kits were placed by the Indian Council Medical Research (ICMR) and the kits are expected to be received by 8-9 April following which deployment of the same would begin as per requirement.
The development was made public by Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar who is ICMR's chief for epidemiology and communicable diseases.
It should be noted though that antibody tests are prone to throwing false positives. For instance, the people who have already contracted the infection and have since been cured, will be tested as false positives. Also, as the antibodies take as many as 7-10 days to develop after the contraction of the virus, the antibody test may also deliver false negatives in many cases.
Thus, the ICMR has advised the Union as well as State Governments to stick to the RT-PCR tests for diagnostic purposes and allow antibody tests to be deployed only in the containment areas and clusters.
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