MUMBAI: Private labs in Maharashtra have turned in more positive reports despite state-run ones carrying out a higher number of COVID-19 tests amid the outbreak, as per data compiled by the state health department.
The positivity rate of private labs was 18.76 per cent compared to 12.61 per cent for government ones, with a possible reason being the former deploying more rapid antigen test kits, a senior official said.
"The idea was if an antigen tests returns positive, then the person can be subjected to an RT-PCR test for confirmation.
Rapid antigen tests served as a quick mass surveillance tool to detect those who are possibly infected," he explained.
Data compiled by the department showed that 60 per cent of the total testing in the state, which stands at 1,61,99,818 as on Saturday, was as per the RT-PCR method.
"The overall positivity rate in the state now is 13.25 per cent," he added.
Dr Subhash Salunke, technical adviser to the state government, "Every rapid test that is positive should be followed by an RT-PCR test. It is standard procedure. There are chances of some lapses, but it was largely followed across the state."
The number of tests per day in the state has increased from 35,000 to 80,000 since February 14 due to a spike in cases in some districts, officials said.