Even as the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) cancelled the rapid antibody test kit order from one Chinese company and asked states to put the use of such kits on hold, industry insiders say more accurate testing methods are getting evolved and may be considered by the country soon.
The controversy around the efficacy and pricing of the rapid tests may change the way India now tests for the novel coronavirus. Sources say once the final results on these tests are out, India is likely to include these in the testing protocol for coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
An industry source revealed that discussions are on with the government to consider these tests. “Once, the final outcomes on these tests come, in around a month or so, we can start importing these kits if the government approves,” said the source.
By the middle of May, more clarity is expected on ELISA (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test that has better sensitivity and is expected to have 95 per cent accuracy as opposed to 60 per cent accuracy of the rapid antibody tests. Another test, using chemiluminescence technology, is also under consideration. The accuracy is expected to be higher, in the range of 99 per cent.