Rapid anti-body tests for Coronavirus

India is set to get the primary and  much-needed rapid antibody test kits from China for quick detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes covid-19. A total of 650,000 kits, including rapid anti-body tests and RNA extraction kits, have been dispatched from Guangzhou Airport to India. (source: live mint)

Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) said that these testing kits have been provided by two separate companies, Lieozon and Wanflo, and claim to be highly accurate and realistic.

The head of ICMR Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases, Dr Raman R Gangakhedkar also said that these tests are meant to detect anti-bodies, which implies that they are essential for surveillance and not meant for early diagnosis.


Importance of testing:

Testing is  window to the pandemic and how it is spreading. Without testing we have no way to comprehend the pandemic. It is one of the most vital tools in the fight to slow and reduce the spread and impact of the virus. It will enable the isolation of those who are infected and the tracing and quarantining their contacts.

The results of these tests take around 30 minutes.

Doctors and healthcare workers can determine the number of people who could be infected in a population sample.


Type of tests for COVID-19:

There are two kinds of tests for checking coronavirus:

  • for the presence of the virus, aiming to know whether an individual is presently infected
  • for the presence of antibodies, aiming to establish whether an individual has been infected at some purpose in the past.


Why data on testing is needed?

Without data on COVID-19 we cannot possibly determine how the pandemic is progressing. Without data we cannot respond appropriately to the threat; neither as individuals nor as a society.

We can learn where countermeasures/ assistance against the pandemic are working. Reliable data on testing is therefore vital to access the reliability of the data that informs us about the unfold of the pandemic: the data on cases and deaths as a whole.

Rajasthan first in country to start rapid antibody testing

Rajasthan became the primary state in the country to carry out rapid testing for Covid-19. The health department started rapid tests at 52 persons were tested for Covid-19 at the urban primary health centre of Topkhana Desh (also known as Jaju Dispensary) in the city. The results, which were available instantly, showed that “all 52 persons tested negative”, said Rohit Kumar Singh, additional chief secretary.