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As instances spike, ICMR needs producers to make antigen kits; only one authorized to date – Home Health Choices

BENGALURU: As India is lifting lockdowns in numerous elements of the nation in a phased method, it’s anticipated to see an additional upsurge in Covid-19 instances as a consequence of elevated transmission of SARS-CoV-2 virus, calling for enhanced testing capabilities.

In view of this, the Indian Council For Medical Research (ICMR), whereas arguing that it’s important to scale up testing capability to the utmost doable ranges, has invited producers to make speedy antigen kits which can be inexpensive and supply fast outcomes.

Karnataka too, after having used these kits within the Ballari cluster, is seeking to procure the identical because it ramps up testing capabilities amid rising variety of instances. Experts have already suggested the federal government to introduce these kits.

In a gathering final Friday, chief minister BS Yediyurappa was suggested that speedy antigen take a look at be performed for BMTC, KSRTC, ASHA, anganwadi and well being staff, police personnel, railway employees, supply boys, auto and cab drivers amongst others.

“The gold standard RT-PCR diagnostic test for Covid-19 has limitations in terms of widespread availability. In view of this, there is urgent requirement of reliable and convenient rapid point of care antigen detection assays with high sensitivity and specificity. Such assays could be used as potential diagnostic tests in all possible public and private healthcare settings and made available for mass testing,” the ICMR stated.

So far, the council has validated and authorized just one speedy antigen detection assay from SD Biosensor, a agency that has branches in Gurugram, China and Korea. “…ICMR invites applications for validation of rapid antigen detection tests for Covid-19 from all manufacturers who have developed such a test,” a notification learn.

Dr V Ravi, a virologist at Nimhans and member, Karnataka Covid technical committee, defined: “Unlike antibody kits, which measure a body’s response to the virus and are not diagnostic, antigen tests will tell us if a person is positive or not. RT-PCR, for example, detects the virus’ genetic material, the antigen tests detect the virus’ protein. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, it would be the S-protein.”

He stated that antigen exams have an accuracy of 50% to 80% of RT-PCR optimistic samples, which implies that if a take a look at comes optimistic on the antigen kits, there can be no want for an RT-PCR take a look at, however in case it reveals unfavourable, the pattern should be re-confirmed by means of an RT-PCR take a look at.

“It is a very simple test that needs no sophisticated labs or trained personnel. You collect the samples and place it on a strip — like a pregnancy kit — and wait for the line. In about 20 minutes, it will tell you if it is positive or not,” Ravi added.

He stated that whereas there’s a large demand for antigen kits, the truth that there’s just one authorized agency might delay procurement. “But it is good that ICMR has invited other companies to also get their kits validated,” Ravi stated.

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