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ICMR advises antibody test for high risk groups

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on June 24, 2020 Published on June 24, 2020

After tests are conducted all reports will have to be shared with ICMR   -  THE HINDU

Covid-19 cases cross 4.5 lakh, up to 2.58 lakh recover; 14,476 die

In a bid to allay the fear and anxiety of healthcare workers, office employees, all government and private hospitals, offices, public sector units should perform antibody testing for Covid-19, Indian Council of Medical Research has stated in its revised testing protocol. The tests will be performed using Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) and Chemiluminescence Immunoassay (CLIA) tests, the apex health research body has said.

ICMR has expanded testing guidelines as India crosses the 4.5 lakh mark in Covid-19 cases, with 4,56,183 cases, of which, 2,58,685 have recovered while 14,476 have died.

The groups in which ICMR has stated that the antibody test should be offered are journalists, industrial workforce, farmers, vendors visiting large markets, municipal body staff, drivers, banks, post, couriers and telecom offices, shops, air travel related staff, international operations, congregate settings like slums, old age homes, orphanages, asylums, homeless shelters, hostels, prisons, rural and tribal population especially migrants, police, paramilitary personnel, civil defence and volunteers, security guards, healthcare workers, individuals in containment and buffer zones as well as immune-compromised patients like those with HIV, breathing and lung issues, those on dialysis and so on.

“Since test, track and treat is the only way to prevent spread of infection and save lives, it is imperative that testing should be made widely available to all symptomatic individuals in every part of the country and contact tracing mechanisms for containment of infection are further strengthened,” it has further said.

After tests are conducted all reports will have to be shared with ICMR, it has advised.

Apart from ELISA and CLIA tests to be used for sero-surveillance which help understand if formerly infected persons have developed antibodies and have now quietly recovered, ICMR has stated that all symptomatic but negative patients from antigen testing, which has been recommended to rapidly pick up the virus from hotspots, in health settings will have to be referred for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

Published on June 24, 2020
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