Thiruvananthapuram: As the number of infected people surged again in the state, the Kerala government has decided to resume rapid tests. The Health Department took the decision for rapid tests to avoid a situation of community spread as the state is relaxing lockdown restrictionsand the number of persons infecting from unknown sources is climbing up.
The government has decided to supply 10,000 kits from two foreign companies, which are approved by ICMR.
The government had earlier issued guidelines for 1,00,000 rapid tests using kits distributed by ICMR in the second phase of Covid pandemic. However, 12,400 kits supplied by ICMR in the first phase proved sub-standard on inspection and were not used.
The samples of high risk groups including health workers are examined through PCR test as rapid kits are not available. A PCR test takes six hours and is expensive too.
Rapid test was dropped in the second phase when number of infected people decreased.
However, the Health Department has decided in favour of rapid tests after it was found inevitable as the number of infected people have been rallying upward since 7th May.
Though the prescribed quarantine period is 14 days, Kerala has instances of infection even after that duration. Hence, rapid testing is the only recognized way to prevent community spread.
Other than PCR, Cartridge Based Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (CBNAAT) and Truenut tests also are adopted to diagnose Covid in Kerala.