Kerala to roll out a rapid test for COVID-19

By the end of March, Kerala recorded more than 200 cases of COVID-19 sparking fears of community transmission. The state government is rolling out a rapid test to check for community transmission.

Community Transmission

Community transmission is the 3rd stage of an epidemic. It is the stage where many of the patients’ infection source cannot be traced or presents a missing link in transmission. Such patients do not have a foreign travel history either. ICMR reported that India is still in stage II.

About Kerala’s Rapid Test

The rapid test being introduced by Kerala will be used to detect whether any recent viral infection had occurred in the test subject’s body. The test can yield results in half an hour. This is to be used for determining whether or not there is community transmission in the state. The test kits have been approved by ICMR and National Institute of Virology, Pune.

Function of the Test

The test will look for antibodies that are produced in the body in response to an infection. The test can detect these components of immune system in samples like blood, serum and plasma. It is not recommended for diagnosis of COVID-19. It is used for identifying those with suspected infection. For confirmation, the PCR based tests are to be used.

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