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Centre said few states not conducting RT-PCR

By Ishika Sahni

On September 8, The Central Government on Tuesday announced that they've discovered that few states were not administering gold-standard reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests on symptomatic people who get negative from the rapid-antigen test.

“There are many states where people are testing negative for rapid antigen tests, so that person is not subject to RT-PCR. There is a need to catch missing people who are not getting tested, they are spreading infection” said Health Ministry Secretary Rajesh Bhushan in a press conference.

“We can chase the virus if we catch the missing person who does not get tested for RT-PCR. This is the guidelines of both the Ministry and ICMR that a person who is symptomatic negative of COVID-19 in a rapid-antigen test should be tested on RT-PCR. If some 100 people left they could also spread the virus to a lot of people” the Ministry Secretary added.

On 25 August, the Health Ministry had claimed that some states were more relying on very sensitive, faster and low-cost antigen tests than the highly sensitive and precise RT-PCR tests to detect the infection. The particularity was near 100 per cent for both the tests. The responsiveness of rapid-antigen test was between 60 to 85 per cent and RT-PCR was 80 to 95 per cent, Health Ministry said. The clarification came among theorization that high obsession on antigen tests could lead to under detection of cases. Several experts have warned that such tests throw up more negative tests.

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