Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Centre to states: Limit RAT, use RT-PCR tests – ET HealthWorld

New Delhi: The Centre has asked states to limit the use of Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) to only 30-40% and ensure that it does not take precedence over RT-PCR tests.

In a recent letter to states, the Centre said positivity due to RT-PCR was higher than that of RAT in almost all states. “RAT should be used for diagnosis of pre-symptomatic or early symptomatic individuals where the viral load is expected to be high. Their use in patients after 5-7 days of onset of symptoms is not recommended. RAT must not take precedence over RT-PCR tests. The use of RAT should be restricted to 30-40% or less in the states,” health secretary Rajesh Bhushan and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) director general Balram Bhargava said in the joint letter.

Raising concern over the possibility of lack of consistency in the quality of RAT kits currently available, ICMR has also written to vendors to ensure consistency among different batches and improve the quality of kits wherever possible.

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