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Rajasthan stops use of COVID-19 rapid test kits as accuracy rate found to be just 5 per cent

A committee of experts has prescribed that PCR tests are the correct way to diagnose COVID-19 as rapid testing has turned out to be quite unreliable.

Published: 21st April 2020 04:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 21st April 2020 04:34 PM   |  A+A-

A Healthcare worker collecting blood sample from a person to test it using rapid testing kit, at Coimbatore Medical College Hospital on Saturday.

A healthcare worker collecting blood sample from a person to test it using rapid testing kit (Photo | EPS, A Raja Chidambaram)

Express News Service

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government has stopped the use of rapid test kits in the state after their accuracy rate was found to be just 5 per cent.  

When doctors tested COVID-19 patients with the kits at the Sawai Mansingh (SMS) hospital in Jaipur, the results were negative in 95 percent of the cases.

A committee of experts from the Micro Biology and Medicine Department of SMS College, Jaipur, tested the kits on 100 confirmed COVID-19 patients but were shocked to find that only five of them were found positive while the other 95 were declared negative.

The committee has prescribed that PCR tests are the correct way to diagnose COVID-19 as rapid testing has turned out to be quite unreliable.

State Health Minister Raghu Sharma said, "After the test sample results, there is a question mark over the rapid test kits. We used it in the state as per ICMR guidelines but this experiment failed completely. We were hoping that the accuracy of the test will be more than 90 percent but it was just 5 percent. We have sent the report of the results to the ICMR. If the ICMR doesn't provide any satisfactory response, we may send all these kits back," he said.

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot had also stated in a video conference with the media that the purchase of the kits was done only after consulting the ICMR.

10,000 rapid test kits had initially been sent to Rajasthan, with each kit costing Rs 600. These kits are also being demanded by many other states but after the doubtful results in Rajasthan, their usefulness is under a cloud.

On Monday, 98 new COVID-19 cases were detected in Rajasthan of which 50 were in Jaipur. With this, the number of COVID-19 patients has reached 1576 in the state, while 25 people have died due to the infection. 26 districts have been hit by the virus in the state.

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