Home / News / India /  ICMR asks all states not to use new rapid antibody test for Covid-19 for 2 days

As states have complained of variations in positive Covid-19 test results, ICMR said all states are advised not to use rapid test kits for next two days.

The Indian Council of Medical Research said its teams will investigate rapid test kits at field level and that ICMR will advise on rapid test kits after two days.

At the daily government briefing on the coronavirus situation in the country, ICMR’s Dr Raman R. Gangakhedkar was asked about the faulty rapid testing kits.

“These kits will be tested and validated in the field by our teams. We will issue a clear-cut advisory in two days. If problems are detected in batches, we will tell the companies for replacement," he said.

He said said 4,49,810 tests for Covid-19 have been conducted so far in India and 35,852 samples have been tested on Monday.

As many as 29,776 samples have been tested in 201 labs under the ICMR network, and 6,076 at 86 private laboratories, Gangakhedkar said.

Rajasthan Health Minister Raghu Sharma said that the state has stopped conducting rapid tests for Covid-19 as the accuracy of kits from ICMR is "questionable".

"We had received rapid testing kits from ICMR and it was used in Rajasthan. We formed a committee of the head of our Microbiology Department and head of our Medicine Department to see if these tests are effective. Its accuracy was supposed to be 90 per cent, but it turned out to be 5.4 per cent," Sharma said.

"We did not leave any procedural loophole. We kept in mind ICMR guidelines for testing. Still it did not meet the standards, so we stopped the rapid tests. We have written to ICMR that we will not conduct it as the accuracy is questionable. We are waiting for a reply," he added.

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