A day after the Maharashtra government asked people who have tested positive for Covid-19 using home antigen test kits to register themselves on a portal, the Pune division of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Thursday directed chemists to maintain a record of those who buy the test kits.
S B Patil, Joint Commissioner, FDA, Pune division, said a surge in Covid-19 cases has led to a rise in demand for home testing of persons suspected to have contracted Covid-19.
“While ICMR has allowed home testing, as per the state’s guidelines, we have also instructed chemists to record details of purchasers of the kits, including his/her name, address and contact details. The kits are widely available and we have also instructed the chemists to advise the buyers to immediately report to the municipal or district health authorities if they test positive,” Patil said.
“We will maintain a record but citizens must use QR scan codes on the test kits and then upload them on the ICMR portal. As per the instructions, we will continue to advise purchasers to immediately isolate themselves at home and contact health officials if they test positive,” said Anil Belkar, the General Secretary of the Pune District Chemists Association.
In the last 20 days, at least three lakh home antigen tests kits have been sold in Pune district, according to the association. When contacted, Dr Sanjeev Wavare, assistant medical chief, Pune Municipal Corporation, said those testing positive at home have been urged to immediately report to their nearest ward offices so that officials can register their names on the ICMR portal.
Recently, Pradeep Vyas, Additional Chief Secretary (Health) Maharashtra, had instructed district collectors and municipal commissioners to ensure that the large numbers of Covid positive cases that have been tested on home antigen test kits were, however, not reported to authorities concerned.
Vyas had also directed divisional commissioners and district collectors to avail help from FDA authorities to monitor the sale of such kits and understand the geographical areas where they are being used on a large scale.