Indore: Doctors raise concern over self-testing kits, say people using them may hide positive status

Indore: While the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has given approval to the first self-testing kit of COVID-19 in a bid to early diagnose and treat the patients, city doctors appreciated the move to early diagnosis of disease but raised concern over the safety and disposal of the waste produced.

Experts believe that the kit will indeed help in shedding the burden of testing facilities and help in early diagnoses of the disease in regions with high positivity rate but it will also increase no reporting of the positive cases which increases chances of spread in infection.

“It is a good move by ICMR as such kits are being used in the US and UK. However, it will raise concern over its use and what when people do not report their positive status and continue to meet others. The kit will help in early diagnoses but the government should make people aware about it before giving it from over the counters,” National Chairman of IMA’s tobacco control committee Dr Dilip Acharya said.

However, zonal vice-president of IMA Dr Sanjay Londhe said, “Along with providing directions of use, the company will also provide a biohazard bag to dispose of the waste. The Municipal Corporation is segregating the waste and people will learn to dispose of it. It will help in pulling down numbers by early diagnoses.”

Former secretary of IMA Indore Dr Vinita Kothari believes that instead of helping in early diagnoses, the kit will increase the chances of spread of the disease as it will be disposed of with the general waste.

“Indore Municipal Corporation is segregating the waste but not all in the state or country. People will throw the waste without disposing it properly and will increase the chance of spread of the disease,” Dr Kothari said.

President of IMA-Indore Dr Satish Joshi too has the same views and said that the government should not allow it to sell the kit over the counters but testing should be done under expert guidance only.

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