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Rajasthan Starts Testing For COVID-19 With Rapid Antibody Test Kits, Says CM Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced that testing of people for COVID-19 using Rapid Anti-Body Test has started in the State from Friday

Ashok Gehlot

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot announced that testing of people for novel Coronavirus using Rapid Antibody Test has started in the state from Friday. He claimed that Rajasthan is the first in the country to conduct such rapid tests. On the first day, 60 tests were conducted, all of which were found to be negative, he further informed.

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Gehlot in a series of tweets said that testing has begun after receiving 10,000 Rapid Antibody Test kits. He said that 50,000 kits are due by Friday night and two lakh kits will arrive in three days. "The rapid test is not a confirmatory test, so the system of the RT-PCR test will continue as before. There will be no reduction in this," the CM stated.

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What in the Anti-Body Test?

According to the U.S. Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the serology (antibody) test looks for the presence of antibodies, which are specific proteins made in response to infections. Antibodies can be found in the blood and in other tissues of those who are tested after infection. The antibodies detected by this test indicate that a person had an immune response to Coronavirus, whether symptoms developed from infection or the infection was asymptomatic.

Antibody test results are important in detecting infections with few or no symptoms. However, the head of ICMR's Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases-I Division, Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar has said that these tests are meant to detect anti-bodies and could not be used for diagnosis of the disease.

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COVID-19 testing in every district

Ashok Gehlot also said that work has been started on setting up labs for COVID-19 testing in every district of the state. "Due to the large population and industrial units, this lab is being set up first in Alwar. Rapid tests will also be conducted for home sellers of vegetable vendors, food items etc." said the CM.

"There has been no reduction in the number of coronavirus testing in the state. The number of positive cases has decreased in the last few days, this does not mean that the number of tests has been reduced. Rajasthan has the highest number of tests being conducted in the country. So far, 42,751 tests have been done."

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Rajasthan has so far reported 1,131 cases of COVID-19, of which 164 have recovered while 11 have died. It's the fifth hardest-hit State in the country with the highly contagious epidemic.

(image credit: PTI)

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