Antigen COVID-19 Testing Kit Approved in India- Shows Tests Results Quickly and AffordableJune 15, 2020 18:40
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India has approved a first antigen based COVID testing kit which shows the testing results in 30 minutes. The kit is developed by a Korean company that became available in India for affordable cost in detecting the coronavirus infected people.
A first antigen based COVID-19 testing kit is validated by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
The kit is to show whether a person is presently infected with coronavirus. If a person is identified to be COVID positive then it doesn't need a reconfirmation by RT-PCR test, said by Dr.LK Sharma, scientist and media coordinator.
The kit is mainly developed to reduce the time consuming testing process. It doesn't take more than 30 minutes to show the test results. There will be no need for laboratory examinations of the samples.
Presently, RT-PCR tests are being in use to detect the person as positive or negative for coronavirus. Per day, nearly, 1.5 lakhs people are getting tested with RT-PCR. After the antigen kit is approved, the testing will be significantly increased.
The benefit of using the kit is, it costs less than Rs 500 and the present RT-PCR test costs 2500 which is not accessible for everyone.
The antigen test works in detecting the COVID patients by identifying the presence of molecules of the pathogen which triggers the response of immunity of a person. It can detect the presence of the virus internally with swab collected from the nose. There is no need to collect sputum or other swab.
ICMR said that the kit accuracy in detecting COVID negatives is 99.3 to 100%. The specificity of detecting positives ranged from 50.6 to 84% in two independent evaluations which is depending on the viral load of the patient.
In hospitals, the kits are to be used for all symptomatic ILI patients and asymptomatic patients. For patients who are hospitalized and getting chemotherapy and transplants and people are aged above 65 years.
ICMR asked the other manufacturers who are working on antigen based kits so that it can be validated and support more for speedy COVID testing.
By Ramya C