Delhi

Coronavirus | ‘Preliminary result of sero surveillance sample testing in Delhi will take at least another week’

A Lab Technician from the National Rural Health Mission, taking sample for the rapid antigen testing Delhi on July 15, 2020.

A Lab Technician from the National Rural Health Mission, taking sample for the rapid antigen testing Delhi on July 15, 2020.   | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

NCDC tells High Court anti-bodies detection test was done to assess the prevalence of infection at the community level.

The National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) told the Delhi High Court on Thursday that the preliminary result of the sero surveillance sample testing all over the capital will take at least another one week to be ready.

A Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad asked NCDC’s Director Sujeet Kumar Singh, who was present during the video conferencing hearing, to submit a copy of the result before the next date of hearing, on July 27.

The NCDC said the anti-bodies detection test was done to assess the prevalence of infection at the community level and primarily used for evidence-based public health response. It said the collected blood samples are additionally “collated based on epidemiological data and are then analysed for their stratification across different parameters which requires time and expertise”.

It said that the sero surveillance analysis by NCDC is still underway and the preliminary report is likely to take at least one more week to be declared. The sero surveillance was carried out between June 27 to July 5, during which 21,387 blood samples were collected and tested for the presence of antibodies to assess prevalence of COVID-19 infections at community level.

Accreditation, approval

During the hearing, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) said it has been granting approval to private labs and hospitals to conduct the Rapid Antigen Detection Test (RADT) and RT-PCR (Real Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests. ICMR said it has given one month’s time to the private labs and hospitals to apply for approval after getting accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories.

 

“How is ICMR trying to promote ramping up of testing by giving such long windows to hospitals or laboratories to apply for accreditation?” the Bench remarked as it asked the ICMR to hasten the process of granting accreditation of private labs and hospitals for conducting RADT and RT-PCR tests.

“The public is keen on getting themselves tested...how does it help if somebody has done RADT and has to undergo RT-PCR also? The person will have to go to another hospital to conduct the RT-PCR test,” the Bench remarked.

“Surely, it is not helping the public as they have to run from pillar to post. The ultimate stakeholder is the public...you [the ICMR] have to tighten your range and give them [hospitals and labs] shorter times,” the High Court said.

The High Court’s direction came while hearing a petition filed in public interest by one Rakesh Malhotra, highlighting various issued faced by individuals while undertaking tests for COVID-19. It will hear the case again on July 27.

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Printable version | Aug 4, 2020 10:44:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/coronavirus-preliminary-result-of-sero-surveillance-sample-testing-in-delhi-will-take-at-least-another-week/article32103213.ece

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