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India gives nod for rapid antibody tests

Expanding the testing strategy in line with its containment plans in high-risk areas and Covid-19 hotspots, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued an advisory on Saturday to start rapid antibody-based blood test for coronavirus.
The strategy for using the test includes clusters (containment zone) and large migration gatherings or evacuees’ centres.
“As a matter of abundant precaution, all symptomatic ILI (influenza-like illness) are to be monitored in health facilities. Any surge in cases to be monitored and brought to the notice of surveillance officer/CMO for additional investigation,” the advisory said.
It added all ILI persons should be home- quarantined for 14 days. At facility level, all symptomatic people with influenza-like illness having cough, cold, low-grade fever and sore throat will be tested with rapid antibody tests.
If a patient tests positive after a rapid antibody test, decision will be taken based on clinical assessment and treatment in hospital will follow. As per protocol, contact tracing will also be done.

India is also restricting the export of most diagnostic testing kits, as cases in the South Asian nation topped 3,350 yesterday despite a three-week nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of the respiratory disease. (Web Desk)

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