ICMR Issues Guidelines For Rapid Antibody Blood Tests For COVID-19; Gives Results In Just 15-30 MinutesICMR Logo

Taking India's fight to contain the Novel Coronavirus to the next stage, the Indian Council of Medical research (ICMR) on Saturday (4 April) issued the advisory to initiate the rapid antibody based testing for COVID-19 in all areas reporting clusters, and also in case of large migration gatherings or evacuee centres, reports Economic Times.

Presently the government uses RT-Polymerse Chain Reaction (PCR) tests to decipher if an individual has contracted the virus. The test takes a long time to give the confirmation. On the other hand, the antibody test is likely to help shorten the time to just 15-30 minutes.

If the antibody test comes out positive, then a clinical assessment is a mandatory step, to be followed by hospitalisation or isolation as per the protocol in place. However, if the test comes negative, then if warranted, the patient can also be subjected through RT-PCR test using the throat or nasal swab.

The advisory comes as the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in India crossed the 3,000 count yesterday (5 April). The pandemic has already led to 75 deaths.

The advisory to initiate the rapid testing based on antibody detection was taken by the National Task Force in an emergency meeting which was held recently. The National Task Force is headed by the Director of AIIMS, Delhi Dr Randeep Guleria who is also a Padma Shri recipient.

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