GUWAHATI, April 21 - The Assam government has suspended its plans to use the rapid testing kits for detecting COVID-19 cases following an advisory by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
The ICMR on Tuesday told the states to stop using the newly-distributed Chinese rapid testing kits (RT-PCR) to detect novel coronavirus for the next two days after huge variations in the accuracy of results were noticed across regions.
Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said in view of the ICMR advisory, the State government has suspended rapid antibody tests for the next two days.
The State had got 9,600 rapid testing kits from the Centre, all procured from China.
Fifty rapid tests were scheduled to be done at the city housing complex Spanish Garden tomorrow and 25 at the Aathgaon Kabarsthan Masjid � both declared containment zones following detection of positive cases there.
The ICMR said states were complaining of inaccuracies in these test kits which was not a �good sign�. The medical body said in the next two days, they will send representatives to all states where the rapid test kits are being used �and will bring the samples and test here�.
�Till then, we advise all states not to use this. In two days, we will be in a position to give a detailed report on this,� the ICMR said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has also said that before these rapid tests can be recommended, they must be validated in the appropriate populations and settings. �Inadequate tests may miss patients with active infection or falsely categorize patients as having the disease when they do not, further hampering disease control efforts,� it said.