ICMR issues guidelines for rapid antibody tests in coronavirus hotspots
Photo Credit: AFP

On Saturday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued guidelines for rapid antibody tests in coronavirus hotspots.

The apex medical research body has asked all States to understand the vital facts while using rapid antibody tests. Recently, India received about 5 lakh rapid antibody testing kits from China. These kits would be used to see the trend or surveillance of COVID-19 in a particular area or hotspot. However, rapid tests will not be used for making the diagnosis.

It underlined that the old standard frontline test for novel coronavirus diagnosis is a real-time PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) based molecular test, which is aimed at early virus detection.

The ICMR in its guidelines stated that Real-Time PCR (RT-PCR) test and Point-of-Care molecular diagnostic assays are recommended for diagnosis of COVID-19 among individuals belonging to the following categories:

  • All symptomatic individuals who have undertaken international travel in the last L4 days

  • All symptomatic contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases

  • All symptomatic health care workers

  • All patients with Severe Acute Respiratory illness (fever AND cough and/or shortness of breath)

  • Asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case should be tested once between day 5 and day L4 of coming in his/her contact

On Saturday, the total number of coronavirus cases in India on Saturday morning reached 14,378 including foreign nationals, with 11,906 active cases.

The Health Ministry said, in its daily update, that 480 deaths have been reported in India so far, with the highest -- 201 -- getting reported from Maharashtra, followed by Madhya Pradesh, where 69 deaths have been reported so far. Maharashtra remained the worst-hit state with a total number of positive cases rising to 3,323, followed by New Delhi at 1,707 cases, Tamil Nadu at 1,323 cases and Madhya Pradesh at 1,310 cases, according to the Health Ministry data.

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