- Rapid antibody tests to be held in areas with large number of cases
- Antibody tests similar to blood tests, results available in 15-30 minutes
- India has 1,965 cases of coronavirus, including 50 deaths till now
Every resident in coronavirus hot-spots, or areas with a large number of cases, will be tested with a fast-track kit, if the government clears a recommendation by its top research body ICMR.
The ICMR or Indian Council of Medical Research has recommended Rapid Antibody tests in hotspots across the country, including Delhi's Nizamuddin, where a religious gathering by an Islamic sect has been linked to nearly 400 COVID-19 cases. India had procured around 5 lakh Anti Body test kits last week.
Antibody tests are similar to blood tests. The results are available in 15-30 minutes.
The test uses a few drops of blood to determine whether the body has antibodies for coronavirus. That indicates that the person is infected and has recovered.
Those found "antibody positive" will go through further tests for coronavirus on throat and nasal swabs. Those results take six hours. "Antibody negatives" will be quarantined at home, if the proposal goes through.
The government's national task force will decide on the recommendation this evening.
As of now, the government has identified nine hotspots.
Besides Nizamuddin and Dilshad Garden in Delhi, the others are Ladakh, SBS Nagar in Punjab, Bhilwara in Rajasthan, Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra and Kasargod and Pathanamthitta in Kerala.
India has 1,965 cases of coronavirus as of today, including 50 deaths. On Wednesday, the country recorded its highest single-day increase in the number of COVID-19 positive patients - 437 - with Tamil Nadu leading the spike.
While the country has seen a relatively low rate of infection compared to others like Italy, US and Spain, there are concerns that testing has not been adequate, given the population of India.