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Guwahati gets 1 lakh Rapid Point of Care Antigen Detection Test kits for COVID fight

The Rapid Point of Care Antigen Detection Test kits will be able to disclose the result of the nasal swab samples within an hour

covid test kit guwahati

Sentinel Digital Desk

Guwahati: In what is expected to give a major shot-in-the-arm to the COVID-19 testing facilities in Assam, the Government has procured 2 lakh Rapid Point of Care Antigen Detection Test kits, a new tool approved by Indian Council of Medical Research for quick diagnosis of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Out of these, 1 lakh kits have been earmarked for Guwahati city -- the new epicentre of the contagion in the state.

"In a shot in the arm to our efforts to test, track and treat #COVID19 patients, I am so glad to share that we've got 2 lakh Rapid Point of Care Antigen Detection Test kits, a new tool approved by ICMRDELHI for quick diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in field settings", Assam health minister Himanta Biswa tweeted last night.

The health minister also attended a demo of this new breakthrough kit at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital. "It gives immediate results, has moderate sensitivity but high specificity. In Guwahati where the spread is rapid, we shall deploy 1 lakh kits. This, coupled with ongoing gold standard RT-PCR tests, further sharpens our testing abilities", Sarma stated.

These tests detect the presence of a foreign substance in a person's oral or nasal swab that triggers the production of antibodies, and, therefore, can find infections. But these are non-confirmatory tests. This means that those who test positive through rapid antigen detection tests are considered "truly positive" for COVID-19, but those who test negative must go for an RT-PCR test.

The deployment of these kits, it may be recalled, was necessitated due to a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases across in Assam, with many of these being reported at the community level. Additionally, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, taking stock of the situation in Guwahati, has urged the Government to conduct as many as 10,000 tests each day so that the virus cases can be isolated and treated.

At a recent presser, the Minister also said that a new website will be opened via which a person can avail his/her COVID-19 test results by entering an SRF number. "From tomorrow onwards, a person can check his/her result online", Sarma said, adding that 3.42 lakh results from the backlogs will also be available on the site. The details of this new website, Sarma said, will be available on the National Health Mission (NHM) website.

Meanwhile, he has opined that the rising curve of COVID-19 in the city -- Assam's largest and a thriving centre of economy and commerce -- will be brought under control by July 10 if all the mechanisms formulated by the health department are deployed successfully and efficiently.

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