Focus more on RT-PCR tests than Antigen tests: Devendra Fadnavis to Maharashtra CM

Published: Jul 30, 2020, 09:09 IST | ANI | Mumbai

According to ICMR data, the state has the capacity of over 50,000 RT-PCR tests per day and Mumbai has over 12,000 capacity per day.

Devendra Fadnavis
Devendra Fadnavis

Leader of Opposition (LoP) Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and suggested him that to focus more on RT-PCR tests than antigen tests for COVID-19 as the accuracy of these antigen tests is very low. In his letter, former Chief Minister gave the example of antigen tests done in Mumbai between July 18 to 21, when 65 per cent of these tests on symptomatic patients were negative but RT PCR tests conducted on them came positive.

According to ICMR data, he said, the state has the capacity of over 50,000 RT-PCR tests per day and Mumbai has over 12,000 capacity per day. "That capacity is not being utilised fully for RT-PCR tests so people are feeling the burden of paying for their tests. The government should utilise their RT-PCR test capacity to the fullest for accurate results," he said in the letter.

According to the Central Government, there are two types of tests for coronavirus to detect the response of the virus. (i) Antigen response, (ii) Antibody response, respectively.

"This is very important for us to understand in the case of COVID-19. First, we look for antigen response in the body for which we do RT-PCR tests and Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) to detect active infection of COVID-19 infection among individuals. These tests are used for guiding the treatment/ management of an individual," Dr Sujeet Singh, Director of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) had said on July 21.

"Second, we look for antibody response in the body for which antibody detection tests are done. It is performed during sero-survey studies to primarily assess the prevalence of infection at the community level," he said adding that these test performed is not a diagnostic test but only provides information about past infection due to SARSCoV-2 in individuals who test positive.

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