ICMR issues advisory on Antigen detection test for COVID-19
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Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has recommended the use of Standard Q COVID-19 Ag detection assay as a point of care diagnostic assay for testing under certain settings in combination with RT-PCR test.

Key points from Advisory:

• Those who test negative for COVID-19 by rapid antigen test should be definitely tested sequentially by RT-PCR to rule out infection.

• Whereas a positive test should be considered as a true positive and does not need reconfirmation by RT-PCR test

• Test can be interpreted as positive or negative after 15 minutes of putting the sample into the well by appearance of test and control lines, which can be read with a naked eye, requiring no specialized equipment.

• In view of its high specificity while relatively low sensitivity, ICMR recommends its use in following settings:

A. Containment zones or hotspots:

i) All symptomatic Influenza Like Illness (ILI).
ii) Asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts with co-morbidities of a confirmed case to be tested once between day 5 and day 10 of coming into contact.

B. Healthcare setting:

i) All symptomatic ILI patients presenting in a healthcare setting and are suspected of having COVID-19 infection.
ii) Asymptomatic patients who are hospitalized or seeking hospitalization, in the following highrisk groups:
~ Patients undergoing chemotherapy,
~ Immunosuppressed patients including HIV+;
~ Patients diagnosed with malignant disease;
~ Transplant patients;
~ Elderly patients (65 yrs of age & older) with co-morbidities

iii) Asymptomatic patients undergoing aerosol-generating surgical / non-surgical interventions

(ILI case is defined as one with acute respiratory infection with fever >= 38*C and cough).

Note: This list is a brief compilation of some of the key recommendations included in the article and is not exhaustive and does not constitute medical advice. Original Advisory attached as pdf.

Source: https://www.icmr.gov.in/
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