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Bengal govt claims COVID-19 test kits supplied by ICMR, NICED are ‘defective’

Coronavirus (COVID-19): It claimed that defective RTP-CR kits had resulted in “a large number of inconclusive results” and delayed its efforts to fight the disease.

Written by Atri Mitra | Kolkata | Published: April 20, 2020 1:09:32 am
coronavirus, coronavirus news, covid 19 tracker, Bengal Coronavirus testing, Coronavirus test kits, defected Coronavirus test kits, ICMR test kits, ICMR test kits defective, NICED test kits The state recorded 24 more positive cases on Sunday, taking the active cases to 198, according to the Health Department. (File Photo/Representational)

Coronavirus (COVID-19)” The West Bengal government on Sunday alleged that coronavirus testing kits, supplied by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases (NICED) two weeks ago, were “apparently defective” as the state was two active coronavirus cases shy of reaching the 200-mark.

It claimed that defective RTP-CR kits had resulted in “a large number of inconclusive results” and delayed its efforts to fight the disease.

Director of Kolkata-based NICED Shanta Dutta told The Indian Express that results of coronavirus samples could be different as RTP-CR kits had not been standardised due to involvement of multiple labs. “It is unfortunate that kits have not been standardised to give exact results. It is difficult for each medical college to standardise the kit, hence showing different and inconclusive results. The matter is being seriously addressed by the ICMR.”

Replying to a controversy on social media over alleged delay in COVID-19 test results, the State Health Department said it was because of “inconclusive results” by RTP-CR kits.

“The apparently defective test kits supplied by ICMR-NICED, Kolkata, are resulting in a high number of repeat/ confirmatory tests and causing delays and other attendant problems at a time when we are battling a pandemic. This is an issue that ICMR needs to look into immediately,” the department tweeted on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the state has received around 10,000 rapid antibody testing kits from the Centre and will soon start using them in areas with a high number of COVID-19 patients.

The state recorded 24 more positive cases on Sunday, taking the active cases to 198, according to the Health Department.

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