Utility of rapid antibody test evolving, test results dependent on field conditions; but such tests cannot replace RT-PCR test to diagnose COVID-19 cases, says ICMR
New Delhi: A day after issuing an advisory deferring the usage of the new rapid antibody test kits for coronavirus or COVID-19 for two days, ICMR has forwarded a protocol for using such tests to all states. It has been reiterated that antibody rapid tests are largely to be used as a tool for surveillance.
Globally too, utility of this test is evolving and it is currently being used for detecting the formation of antibodies in individuals. These test results are also dependent on field conditions.
As noted by ICMR, these tests cannot replace the RT-PCR test to diagnose COVID-19 cases. ICMR has assured assistance to collect data from various states to assess the scope and extent of the utility of these rapid antibody test in field conditions, and ICMR shall keep advising the states on a regular basis. States have also been advised to follow the prescribed protocol for these tests and use it for the purposes for which they are meant.