PGIMER orders 2,000 antigen test kits for detection of Covid-19
PILOT BASIS: The 15-minute tests will be used in parallel with RT-PCR to check for efficiency, authenticity.Updated: Aug 02, 2020 14:57 IST
Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research has ordered 2,000 antigen kits for detection tests of the Covid-19 disease.
The kits are expected to arrive by next week.
The institute is currently dependent on the time-consuming but more accurate RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) and the GeneXpert tests for the diagnosis of Covid-19.
The rapid antigen tests will be conducted on patients who report to the hospital, except in emergency wards and special OPDs that are functional. Besides, patients who report for chemotherapy will also be tested.
In the initial stage, however, parallel testing will be conducted on patients for understanding the authenticity of the kits. “The process will be conducted on a pilot basis. All patients who will be tested through antigen kits will also be tested through RT-PCR. The results will be collated. This will give us an experience on how and where the antigen tests will give better results. For now, the tests will not be conducted for emergency patients, but for patients who will be undergoing surgery, chemotherapy or on immunosuppressed patients,” Dr Mini P Singh, nodal officer, Covid, laboratory services and professor at the virology department said.
These tests will help in streamlining the health-care services at the premier tertiary care institute, which have been disturbed due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation.
“Certain high-risk patients will be tested using antigen kits. Around 600 patients are attended to in the special OPDs. We can test them through antigen kits, which can deliver results in just 15 minutes. Primarily because they will save time and are less expensive. Quick, better, and cost-effective results will be beneficial for all. We are preparing for the future,” Dr Jagat Ram, director, PGIMER, said.
Not only with the detection of infection, the test will also be helpful in stopping the spread of infection in hospitals. This week, 44 health-care workers including two doctors were quarantined after they were exposed to the infection, some of them from the Covid-19 positive patient admitted in the ICU. On different instances, several health workers were quarantined after they were exposed to the infection through Covid-19 positive patients.