Don't use COVID-19 rapid test kits for two days: ICMR tells states

The agency says it will investigate the issue of faulty kits

Total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in India climbed to 18,601 | Salil Bera Total number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in India climbed to 18,601 | Salil Bera

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) on Tuesday advised all states not to use the new rapid antibody test kits for COVID-19 for two days, saying it would investigate the issue of faulty kits.

"We have received complaint from a state yesterday and so far discussed with three states. Too much variations have been reported in results of rapid test kits and RT-PCR kits. We advise states not to use them for the next two days," said Dr Raman R. Gangakhedkar of the ICMR at the daily government briefing.

“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.

Gangakhedkar said a total of 4,49,810 samples for COVID-19 infection have been tested till Tuesday of which 35,852 were done 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.

Meanwhile, Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary, Health Ministry, said a total of 3,252 people have been cured of coronavirus in India so far, including 705 patients who were discharged on Monday, taking the recovery percentage to 17.48 per cent.

He said a total of 1,336 new cases of coronavirus have been identified, taking the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 18,601.

"With 1,336 new cases, there are 18,601 positive cases in India till now. So far, 3252 people have recovered including 705 people who recovered yesterday. This takes our recovery percentage to 17.48 per cent," Agarwal said.

He said 590 people have succumbed to the infection so far, while the total active cases in the country are 14,759.

The ministry said guidelines had been sent to the states that while the focus is on COVID-19, other services like dialysis, HIV and cancer treatments should also be provided.