Gandhinagar: With rising number of coronavirus cases, the Gujarat government has ordered for 50,000 RAT (rapid anti-bodies testing) kits from abroad, in addition to kits to be received from the central government.
“We have ordered for 50,000 RAT kits used for a kind of complementary test for the dreaded virus. The shipment will arrive at the earliest,” said Jayanti Ravi, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Gujarat.
“The first batch of 3,000 to 4,000 kits from the Centre is expected to arrive by Friday evening or Saturday,” he said.
The Rapid Antibody Test is not a full-fledged test for coronavirus like the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT PCR) test, which is the most accurate for coronavirus as it detects virus presence even when the patient is asymptomatic. But this test is time-consuming and costly.
On the other hand, RAT determines the presence of an antibody, after a person exhibits symptoms of virus attack. It provides results with a little uncertainty and is not considered confirmatory. But RAT kit is cheaper and gives quick results.
The person detected negative through RAT cannot be declared Covid-19 free. But, at least, such a test can help authorities in isolating suspect corona patients and then send his samples for proper PCR test.
“From the corona cases that we have seen till now, 80% were found positive by PCR test are asymptomatic, 15% show mild symptoms and 5% show severe and critical conditions,” added Ravi.
“In the Cluster Containment Strategy in the hotspots of the five major cities, we are taking maximum samples for PCR tests, as per Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) guidelines. These guidelines are for taking samples from persons suffering from Influenza Like Infection (ILI) and Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI). We are also taking samples from close contacts of positive cases we have found,” added Ravi.