The Indian Council of Medical and Research (ICMR) has initiated a programme of clinical trials for rapid antigen detection assays for COVID-19 patients. The decision has been taken considering the high surge in the number of COVID patients in recent past days.
This procedure will help to keep track of the increasing number of COVID-19 patients as well as help in easy access to detect the affected COVID-19 patient on a larger scale within a short span of time.
This biomedical research body has identified seven premier tertiary care hospitals across the country to initiate trials and PGIMER has been selected as one of these sites to be a part of this programme for critically ill COVID-19 patients.
The PGIMER Director, Prof. Jagat Ram, said that “The availability of antigen-based detection tests is very limited all across the world. Most of such tests have relatively moderate sensitivity but high specificity. The test is a promising tool to keep a track of COVID patients by rapid testing. We are thankful to ICMR for having entrusted us with this responsibility and we will strengthen our capacities, wherever required, to come out with tangible results to help fast track testing and tracing of positive cases as well as ease the burden on the current RT-PCR test.”
Furthermore, the Director added, “A committee will be constituted to work out the modalities and comprehensive plan along with timelines to meet the desired expectations of ICMR and contribute towards containing the pandemic.”