Some patients who were given the drug, showed improvement in breathing and a drop in inflammation (Representative Image)

COVID-19: Rajasthan stops rapid testing as most results invalid

The Rajasthan government on Tuesday stopped using rapid testing kits for coronavirus after they delivered inaccurate results and informed the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) about the issue. The state health minister Raghu Sharma said the kits gave only 5.4 per cent accurate results against the expectation of 90 per cent accuracy and therefore the kits were of no benefit.

A committee comprising heads of medicine and microbiology departments at the Sawai Man Singh government hospital here was set up by the government to examine the accuracy of the kits and the committee found that only 5.4 per cent test results were accurate. “As per the advice of the committee, we have stopped testing from the rapid testing kits. We have written to the ICMR about it and their response is awaited,” the minister said.

He said 168 tests were conducted through rapid testing kits. The kits were also used for testing of patients who have already been tested positive for coronavirus in PCR based tests and the result was negative in their case too, which, the minister said, raised questions about the credibility of these kits. “If the ICMRs response comes in our favour, the kits could be returned,” he said. Rajasthan had started conducting tests through rapid testing kits from Friday in the states hotspots, starting from Jaipur.

Related News: COVID-19 cases touch 18,601; death toll rises to 590: Health Ministry

The rapid testing kits, through which blood samples are tested, were aimed at speeding up screening and detection of suspected coronavirus patients. It was not a confirmatory test and PCR based test was required for the confirmation of a positive result.

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