A day after COVID-19 tests using Rapid Antigen methodology commenced in the national capital, the ICMR on Friday said over 7,000 test were conducted on the first day.
In a statement, the ICMR said it has facilitated and approved rapid-antigen test for COVID-19 that gives results in 30 minutes in order to fast track reliable and affordable testing essentially in high containment areas.
Rapid antigen testing was launched in Delhi and on the first day, over 7,000 tests were conducted, it said.
Following Union Home Ministry instructions, both government and private labs were involved in conducting tests on a large scale, the ICMR said.
Out of the over 7,000 tests performed in Delhi, 450 were found positive, said the statement.
All those who tested negative but have symptoms would be re-tested by RT-PCR, the gold standard test, it said.
"ICMR expects availability of over 71 lakh Rapid Antigen test kits in next 10 days kickstarting production in a big way," it said.
"ICMR handheld and provided support in improving the performance of the kit. It is proving to be of great help in testing as it is easy to perform testing, doesn't require molecular virology laboratory infrastructure," it said.
Using these kits, the ICMR said testing can be done at any place by setting camps. This fastens the testing and many more people can be tested in much less time.
Rapid Antigen test is being conducted by both government and private labs in Delhi ensuring that no one is left behind and camps have been set up all across the national capital for conducting this test, it said.
"This strategy would ensure robust control of COVID-19 in high burden states," the ICMR said.
"Test could be used as a point of care diagnostic assay for testing in the hotspots/ containment zones and healthcare settings in combination with the gold standard RT-PCR test," it said.
It will also help in allaying anxiety and fear of healthcare workers and aid in better clinical management of the patients, it said.
Developed and manufactured in India, the test was independently validated by ICMR and AIIMS, New Delhi, it said.