Assam health department has decided to go for one lakh rapid coronavirus tests in some select zones.
In response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic and shortages of laboratory-based molecular testing capacity and reagents, multiple diagnostic test manufacturers have developed and begun selling rapid and easy-to-use devices to facilitate testing outside of laboratory settings, Assam Tribune reported.
Health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said these simple test kits are based either on detection of proteins from the COVID-19 virus in respiratory samples (like sputum, throat swab) or detection, in blood or serum, of human antibodies generated in response to infection.
However, these rapid tests may not necessarily show accurate result, and according to a study “half or more of COVID-19 infected patients might be missed by such tests, depending on the group of patients tested”.
Minister Sarma said the government will get “some idea” about the scenario in the State after the tests.
“The ICMR has approved kits of five firms. We have placed an order for 1 lakh kits which we hope to get by April 22. In the meantime, we have asked the Central government to arrange some for us so that we can begin the work,” minister Sarma told reporters in Guwahati on Friday.