Covid-19 India: ICMR Invites Applications To Validate Rapid Antigen Test

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research on Thursday invited applications for validation of rapid antigen detection tests for Covid-19. So far, it has validated and approved only one rapid antigen detection assay from SD Biosensor.

The test allows faster diagnosis of samples and results are available within 30 minutes. The ICMR said that there is an urgent requirement for a reliable and convenient rapid point of care antigen detection assays with high sensitivity and specificity.

According to the apex health research body, it is important to scale up testing capacity to the maximum possible levels in view of an upsurge in cases of Covid-19.

Such assays could be used as potential diagnostic tests in all possible public and private healthcare settings and made available for mass testing.

The ICMR has identified the AIIMS in Delhi, SMS Medical College in Jaipur, King George Medical University in Lucknow, Kasturba Hospital for Infectious Diseases in Mumbai and Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh for validation of the rapid point-of-care antigen detection tests for Covid-19.

Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research in Puducherry and National Institute of Virology in Kerala for validation of the rapid point-of-care antigen detection tests for Covid-19 have also been identified for the same.

It has also set criteria for validation which includes a minimum of 300 rapid antigen tests, minimum of 3-4 instruments, ability to provide training to staff involved in test validation, manufacturing to make adequate supplies if the kit is approved after validation and import test license from the CDSCO or the DCGI.

Meanwhile, India witnessed the highest spike of almost 17,000 fresh Covid cases in the past 24 hours, with Maharashtra, Delhi and Tamil Nadu contributing more than 62 per cent, taking the total in the country to 4.73 lakh, data from the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry revealed on Thursday.

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