ICMR Approves New Test, Corona Test Result In 30 Minutes

Additionally, it requires samples to be stored in a particular solution and transported in a specific kit


NEW DELHI| In India Ramping up tests has been an obstacle to fight against COVID-19 pandemic. The ICMR has given its nod an antigen-based coronavirus test kit that can deliver COVID-19 positivity in just 30 seconds.

In the fresh advisory, the ICMR has validated the test tool called, the “Standard Q COVID-19 Ag Detection Kit.” Developed by South Korean firm SD Biosensor it has its manufacturing unit at Gurgaon, it is the first antigen-based COVID-19 test to be approved by the ICMR.

The new Corona test kit has a definite advantage over the existing testing method, RT-PCR, which takes 2-3 hours in delivering results. One kit of the R-PCR costs around Rs 2,500.

Additionally, it requires samples to be stored in a particular solution and transported in a specific kit. It pushes up the cost. Currently, the testing is capped at Rs 4,500.

With the new testing kit, the coronavirus positivity could be known in one-fourth to one-sixth time-lag at a cost as little as Rs 500. The kit is portable and can be used in the field. This means an on-site diagnosis of COVID-19 is possible.

This development comes at a time when India is testing around 1.5 lakh samples a day and aims to increase it manifold in the backdrop of massive rise in the number o fresh coronavirus cases over the last two-three weeks.

According to the ICMR advisory, the Standard Q COVID-19 Ag Detection Kit has a specificity rate of 99.3100% for negative cases. This means the accuracy of the COVID-19 test results can be false only in a maximum of 0.7% samples.

For positive case, the sensitivity rate of the test between 50-84% depending on the viral load of patients. Due to high specificity and low sensitivity, the ICMR has said this kit should be used in combination with the current RT-PCR method, considered the gold standard of COVID-19 testing.

This test kit does away with the necessity of taking the samples to a laboratory. But it has a limitation that samples for the test can only be collected using a nasopharyngeal swab.

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