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Explained: What is Rapid Antibody Test? How does it help fighting COVID-19 in India?

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New Delhi, Apr 06: While the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) issued new testing guidelines for coronavirus, it has has also allowed rapid antibody testing in India on those residing in COVID-19 hotspots.

In its interim advisory, the ICMR has recommended the use of rapid antibody test in the country's coronavirus hotspots.

Explained: What is Rapid Antibody Tests? How does it help to fight COVID-19 in India?

Currently, the Centre and the governments are using Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests to detect the virus from samples of throat or nasal swab of people with symptoms or high-risk individuals who might have come in contact with people coming in contact with patients suffering from the pandemic.

Difference between PCR and Rapid Antibody Test:

The present PCR takes about five to six hours dispaly the results in which nasal or throat swabs are required.

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The rapid antibody testing are quicker to get early results as it requires blood samples of suspected patients. This test would take around 15-30 minutes to give the result.

Is rapid antibody test important in India?

According to reports, it is allegedly said that Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and few other states has urged ICMR to send its recommendation and start rapid antibody test in the country.

The rapid antibody test can be used from town level to village-level and find out the number of infections quickly, which has become the need of the hour at present. As several migrant workers returned to their native places since the lockdown there is a possibility that they might have carried a small section of the virus.

Where is the rapid antibody test available?

It is reportedly said that India is in the process to have these antibody test kits for the country. It is alleged that India has already purchased about 5 lakh testing kits from USA, China and South Korea.

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On the other side, the ICMR has given an approval to a dozen of such kits, which are expected to be available in the market soon as a Bengaluru-based company is also working on this project.

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