First batch of 873 people returned to Meghalaya from Tamil Nadu on Friday evening Credit: Twitter

Shillong: Question mark again over the efficacy of Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits. This after samples of 12 persons who returned from Chennai tested positive in RDT tests. However, when the same samples were sent for PCR test 5 samples were negative and results of 7 are awaited.

Also Read: Faulty rapid test kits to be returned to China: Health ministry

Deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong on Saturday informed that out of 873 returnees from Tamil Nadu 12 were tested positive by Rapid Diagnostic Test Kits.

They were immediately taken to quarantine centres in their respective districts. “Their samples were collected and sent for PCR test at NEIGRIHMS and Tura Civil Hospital. The results for all the 4 people from Tura and one person from Ri Bhoi has been tested and confirmed negative while the results for the remaining 7 from East Khasi Hills are awaited and will be out by tomorrow. We hope that the results of the remaining 7 will also test negative,” said Tynsong.

On April 21, the Indian Council of Medical and Research (ICMR) had suspended the use of rapid tests kits after complaints from a few states. According to ICMR high rate of variation was found in the accuracy of test results of positive samples, in some places it was 6 per cent while others it was as high as 71 per cent.

Following ICMR guidelines Meghalaya government also suspended the use of Rapid diagnostic kits on April 22. The state started relying on PCR tests.

The state resumed use of RDT kits after the ICMR gave a go-ahead to use of new kits. Deputy Chief Minister informed that the final testing of samples will only be done by PCR test

Also Read: ICMR issues protocol for using ‘rapid antibody test’ to states

RDT tests are significant as the Meghalaya government brings back its stranded citizens from different parts of the country.

Social Welfare Minister Kyrmen Shylla lauded the people at the frontline.

Shylla said, “Our 31 stranded students arrived from Chennai at 4 am today, at Khliehriat. They were welcomed and assisted by our well- equipped team of the District. First, they were taken to screening spot for testing/screening and for necessary procedures or formalities. Then they were taken to their respective villages for quarantine. I thank the Department of DMHO which includes Doctors, Nurses& health workers, and also The District Task Force, Police Department, Officials, Transport Cell of East Jaiñtia Hills District and everyone who did an incredible job in assisting during this time.”

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