Centre plans fresh review of antibody testing kits

NEW DELHI: Amid controversies over pricing and accuracy, the Centre plans fresh review of antibody testing kits for Covid-19. Delivery of these kits, from companies all across the world, has been put on hold. ET gathers that only after completing the review, the Centre will decide on whether or not to accept pending deliveries. The same will be conveyed to states too.

Besides the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the issue of testing kits is being closely looked at by the cabinet secretary and empowered groups, which look at medical supplies, testing and procurement. The empowered groups are also clear that the focus has to be on RNA-based reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and rapid testing may even be phased out, if necessary.

India has ordered about 7 lakh rapid testing kits from various sources, including firms in China and Korea. All the new kits on their way to India have now been put on hold and most of those imported are in the process of being returned, said officials.

Several concerns over temperature sensitivity of these kits have also been red-flagged by some states. The ICMR is also looking at issues of accuracy and reliability of these kits.

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