RT-PCR only confirmatory test, says govt.
Rapid antibody tests for epidemiological studies, surveillance in hotspots
- The Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) is the gold standard frontline test for COVID-19 and that rapid antibody test cannot replace it.
- The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)’s national taskforce issued guidelines on testing strategy to all States, following a review of the worldwide testing methodology.
- The Rapid Antibody Test gives us an idea about prevalence of disease in a particular area and thus is used for epidemiological studies and surveillance purpose in hotspots.
- Data generated by surveillance through rapid testing can be used for contact tracing if any positive case arise in an area.
- Presently, the government is using the RT-PCR tests to detect novel coronavirus from samples of throat or nasal swabs of people with symptoms or high-risk individuals who might have come in contact with positive patients.
- To make all data of Rapid Antibody Test available for surveillance at State, district and national levels, an order has been issued to register in the portal: covid19cc.nic.in/icmr before conducting rapid antibody test, so that the information can be made available at all levels.