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India goes back to to RT-PCR Covid-19 tests

Senior officials in the government have said that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has asked manufacturers of RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) kits to ramp up production. RT-PCR, is so considered the “gold standard” for Covid-19 diagnosis.

This comes two weeks after the government drawing up plans to launch antibody tests on a mass scale. “Some orders of antibody kits were placed with South Korea and two Indian companies, which are pending. But no fresh orders will be placed,” stated an official. Further, the orders for 2 million test kits with two Chinese firms had been cancelled. This decision has been the consequence of the substandard quality of these kits and hence, their lack of accuracy in delivering the results. 

“A lot of complexities have been introduced by the government, be it rapid testing, plasma therapy and even the use of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ),” a public health activist observed. Quite a few activists also consider validating HCQ without any evidence as questionable. Another development in the course of a possible cure of the virus came on Tuesday, when the health ministry warned that there was not enough evidence to support the use of plasma therapy  for Covid-19 treatment.