The number of Coronavirus positive cases in India have crossed another 10,000 milestone, coming closer to the 20,000 mark.
Around 1,383 positive cases and 50 deaths were reported in last 24 hours.
According to the Health Ministry, the country has totally 15,670 active coronavirus patients after 4006 recovered.
Maharashtra is at the top with 5,218 positive cases and 251 deaths, followed by Gujarat (2,272), Delhi (2,156), Tamil Nadu (1,596), Rajasthan (1,799), Madhya Pradesh (1,552), UP (1,337) and Telangana (928).
According to Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), around 4.5 lakh samples were tested for coronavirus as of April 21, 2020.
As the states prepare for rapid testing, ICMR directed them to stop using antibody test kits in view of the quality-related concerns and inaccuracy in results.
Meanwhile, ICMR will test the kits for their quality and effectiveness.
According to the council, states have reported a huge variation in test results ranging from 6-71 percent and this is completely unacceptable and requires replacement.
“On Monday, we received a complaint from one state about less detection through rapid antibody test kits. So, we asked three states on Tuesday and found that among positive samples of RT-PCR, there is too much variation in rapid antibody tests,” says RR Ganghkhedkar, Head of epidemiology and communicable diseases at ICMR.
“In some places, 6 percent to 71 percent of RT-PCR positive samples were positive,” he adds.
Rajasthan became the first state to stop the rapid testing activity on lines of inaccuracy and mismatch with the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test.
I had earlier suggested to GOI that a centralised mechanism with proper guidelines of quality check may be developed for the procurements of Medical equipments. Unfortunately this was not accepted.
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) April 21, 2020
Meanwhile, one of the ICMR officials says that the fault is not with kits and could be in how they were used.
“The kits are not faulty. The use of kits for diagnosis is at fault. The proper test for COVID is the RT-PCR test. It is possible that states may have resorted to a short-cut in seeing them as diagnostic tests,” the official noted.
There are also reports that the kits were not maintained under prescribed temperatures.
However, ICMR is likely to give some clarification on this issue soon.
This decision will be a challenge for the state governments in undertaking surveillance activity and tracking trends.