BHUBANESWAR: Perturbed over the surge in Covid-19 cases in hospitals and hotspot districts, Odisha Government has planned to ramp up testing capacity by conducting rapid antigen tests at all containment zones, hotspots and points of care at district level. One lakh Standard Q Covid-19 Ag (antigen) detection kits will be procured for the purpose. While 5,000 kits arrived on Monday, the State Government has placed an order for 20,000 more which are expected to reach in the next few days. The kit, costing Rs 450 each, is a rapid chromatographic immunoassay for qualitative detection of specific antigens to SARS-CoV-2.
It has been developed by SD Biosensor, a South Korea based company, having its manufacturing unit at Manesar in Gurugram. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had advised all States to procure the kits from the manufacturer after evaluating its sensitivity, specificity and feasibility of use as a point-of-care test for e a r l y d e t e c t i o n o f SARS-CoV-2. Standard Q COVID-19 Ag detection kit by the SD Biosensor is the standalone antigen detection test which is available in the country and has been validated. Additional Chief Secretary of Health and Family Welfare department PK Mohapatra said of the 5,000 antigen kits, 2,500 kits have been sent to Ganjam and 2,000 kits to SCB Medical College and Hospital at Cuttack. The rest 500 kits h ave been ke p t f o r Bhubaneswar.
“The tests will commence on Tuesday. In the next phase, the kits will be sent to other hotspot districts, where the caseload is rising, after 20,000 kits are received. The kits will be available at the point of care in district headquarters hospital so that all suspects can be screened before being admitted in the healthcare centres,” Mohapatra said. The State Government has also planned to allow private hospitals to procure the antigen kits and screen people, who are willing to get tested, at a reasonable price. “While the antigen test at Government facilities is free, the maximum price for the test at private hospitals and clinics will be fixed in the next high level meeting scheduled after two days,” he said.
As many as 2210 persons have tested positive in the State in the last five days with Ganiam contributing the maximum 876 cases and three premier hospitals - Acharya Harihar Postgraduate Institute of Cancer (AHPGIC), SCB Medical College and Hospital and AIIMS-Bhubaneswar accounting for over 160 cases.