With 50 teams Noida to start antigen tests from June 2Updated: Jul 01, 2020 23:20 IST
The Gautam Budh Nagar district administration on Thursday will begin deploying teams into containment zones to conduct rapid antigen tests.
The Gautam Budh Nagar district includes Noida, Greater Noida and other adjoining areas, and accounted for 2362 cases as reported by the state government on Wednesday in its 12-hour summary report, which is nearly 10% of the total cases in Uttar Pradesh. The district had 293 containment zones as of Wednesday. The testing exercise will continue till all people in these zones are tested.
“The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has trained our officials. Our doctors and health experts have, in turn, trained a total of 50 teams, which will start antigen testing beginning from June 2 in high risk containment zones,” said Suhas LY district magistrate Gautam Budh Nagar.
A team will have three health workers -- assistant nursing staff and two lab technicians. They will collect swabs from the patient’s throat and nasal cavity to do the antigen test.
On Wednesday, a district health team led by Dr Amit Kumar, a government doctor in charge of Police Lines, conducted antigen tests on 77 personnel at the police commissionerate located in sector 108. The district administration did not share the results of this exercise.
On June 25, the ICMR released a document where it detailed the need for rapid antigen tests to massively scale up testing capacity as the number of Covid-19 cases rise and lockdown restrictions are gradually relaxed.
With 15,000 rapid antigen test kits in their kitty, the district administration has constituted teams to identify high risk groups, influenza-like illness symptoms (ILI) and co-morbidities.
These tests detect the presence of a foreign substance in a person’s oral or nasal swab that triggers the production of antibodies, and, therefore, can find infections. But these are non-confirmatory tests. This means that those who test positive through rapid antigen detection tests are considered “truly positive” for Covid-19 but those who test negative must go for an RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test for re-confirmation. Rapid antigen tests are quicker -- taking just 30 minutes and can be conducted on-site, compared to RT-PCR’s minimum of two hours and requires a laboratory. They are also cheaper and differ in technology as they look for a specific protein associated with the Sars-Cov-2 virus, which causes Covid-19. RT-PCR tests look for the exact nucleic signatures of the virus.
The administration may keep people, who in a doctor’s opinion may have the virus, in home quarantine.
“If a patient tests negative in the antigen test, but and doctors advice the RT-PCR for confirmation, then the doctor doctor can recommend home quarantine or institutional quarantine,” said Suhas.