ICMR recommends antibody testing at COVID-19 hotspots

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New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended antibody testing for speedy detection of COVID-19 cases.

It said those residing in COVID-19 hotspots or areas which have reported large numbers of cases may have to undergo a rapid antibody blood test for the viral infection.

The decision for the recommendation was taken at an emergency meeting of the National Task Force, formed to deal with the health crisis.

The ICMR said in its interim advisory: “Population in hotspot areas may be tested using rapid antibody test. Antibody positives to be confirmed by RT-PCR (reverse transcription-PCR) using throat/nasal swab, and antibody negatives to be quarantined at home”.

The Health Ministry has identified 20 existing and 22 potential COVID-19 hotpsots across the country. The results of the antibody tests, similar to other blood tests, are available in 15-30 minutes.

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