GoI: Rapid Antibody Tests to be used strictly for surveillance

On April 16, 2020, the Government of India announced that the Rapid Antibody tests will strictly be used as surveillance test.

Highlights

With 5 lakh rapid antibody kits being imported from China, the government has ensured its citizens that they will only be used for surveillance purposes. This will help in formulating protocols for testing. This is being done as antibodies are formed on persons’ body only after 8 days a person is infected. Therefore, the test will be positive only in 80% of persons who had been infected.

The kits are to be used to test IGM and IGG antibodies.

What is the plan?

India is to continue using DNA based RT-PCR testing to detect COVID-19. This is done by using throat swabs. According to ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research), persons with influenza like symptoms, migrants, patients with runny nose and sore throat should take the RT-PCR test. When the test is negative, they should go through antibody test after 7 days.

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