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ICMR Advises States To Stop Usage Of COVID Rapid Testing Kits From 2 Chinese Manufacturers

ICMR has issued an advisory to states across the country halting the use of rapid antibody tests procured from two Chinese manufacturers


In a major development on Monday, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has issued an advisory to states across the country halting the use of rapid antibody tests procured from two Chinese manufacturers. After several states complained of faulty kits and 'objectionable' accuracy, the ICMR had advised the states to halt rapid testing and placed two Chinese manufacturers - Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics - under its scanner.

The ICMR has now advised the states to stop the usage of rapid testing kits from these manufacturers. According to an ICMR official, Guanzhou Wondfo Biotech provided about 5 lakh rapid antibody test kits while Zhuhai Livzon provided 2 lakh kits to four suppliers across the country. 

READ | 2 Chinese Manufacturers Under ICMR Scanner For Providing Faulty COVID Rapid Testing Kits

'Rapid kits cannot replace RT-PCR tests'

Meanwhile, the ICMR had earlier forwarded protocols for the usage of rapid testing kits to provide assistance to the states. The apex medical council has also communicated to the states and clarified that rapid antibody tests are largely to be used as a tool of surveillance and cannot replace the RT-PCR tests to diagnose COVID-19 cases. The ICMR has highlighted that the utility of these kits is evolving and that the test results are also dependent on field conditions. Several states including Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal had complained of 'faulty' testing kits causing a delay in accurate results. 

READ | Coronavirus Live Updates: India's Total Cases At 27,892; Death Toll Hits 872

At present, there are 20,835 active COVID-19 cases across the country. While 832 deaths have occurred, 6,184 individuals have recovered from the deadly disease. Maharashtra continues to remain the worst-affected state. 

ICMR visits AIIMS Jhajjar

Earlier on April 24, a team of scientists from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had visited AIIMS's National Cancer Institute (NCI) at Jhajjar in Haryana, to conduct the field validation of Chinese manufactured rapid antibody testing kits. A senior scientist from ICMR told ANI: "We have started the field validation of rapid antibody test kits, which we received from China. A group of scientists has gone to the NCI, Jhajjar, to do the field validation. This rapid antibody tests would be on the blood samples of COVID and non-COVID patients to learn the trend."

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