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Rapid antibody tests suspended in Tripura

By Correspondent

AGARTALA, April 28 - Rapid antibody tests, which were launched in Tripura last week to check containment level of novel coronavirus, were abruptly suspended on Monday, official sources confirmed here.

The decision to halt the rapid antibody tests was taken following an advisory from the ICMR, New Delhi, against use of the kits available for this purpose, said Tripura Additional Chief Secretary SK Rakesh here today.

While briefing media persons on the latest situation in Tripura, Rakesh said that the ICMR has asked the State to stop the rapid antibody tests undertaken in three areas. The ICMR has called for collection and return of all kits meant for the antibody tests as they appear faulty.

The Additional Chief Secretary, however, said that the State has been doing well as far as COVID-19 tests are concerned. �There have been 247 tests till Monday, while 50 tests were conducted today. Fortunately, all the tests have been found negative so far expect two cases. The State is ahead in conducting COVID-19 tests at the national level. The State�s average COVID tests stood at 1,051 per million population, while the national average is 42 per million till Monday,� Rakesh said.

The Additional Chief Secretary said the State has done well in the battle against COVID-19 during the lockdown period. �Now, it is the time to restore normal economic activities though the threat is not yet over,� he said, adding that the State has been marked as a green zone, which merits lockdown relaxation. �We are looking at how things unfold after May 3, the last day of the second phase of lockdown,� he said.

�Those who are stuck outside the State in the face of the ongoing lockdown, are welcome to return to the State on consent. If they want to return home, the State Government will ensure they get permission from the State in which they have got stranded. But the State Government will not provide the transportation cost to them,� the Additional Chief Secretary said.

According to Rakesh, in the second phase of the lockdown, inter-State movement has been permitted. Altogether 167 persons have already returned and over 3,000 people are still stuck in different States due to the lockdown.

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