States are stepping up antigen testing, however why reliability apprehension stay

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India has begun to make use of the automation of antigen testing for Covid-19. This is quicker and cheaper, than the “gold standard” of testing, the RT-PCR automation. It additionally very precisely detects positive cases of Covid-19. But its draw back is that it offers a considerable count of ‘false negatives’ where an individual’s take a look at can come as negative, after they might truly be positive for the viral illness.

“The problem is we are saying there is a certain percentage of positivity in testing and as positivity in testing goes down, we may feel that we have begun to flatten the curve,” says Satyajit Rath, former scientist on the National Institute of Immunology, New Delhi. “Have we really? Because if we have shifted to what is possibly a less sensitive test, like antigen testing, then the reduction in the percentage of test positives can simply be because of this.”

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In different phrases, whereas antigen testing picks up numerous positive cases rapidly, some positive cases might stay undetected as a result of antigen exams not being delicate abundant.

“Our positivity percentage from a month ago may not then be strictly comparable to our positivity percentage today,” says Rath. “So if we shift from one kind of testing to another and there is no break-up given of how much is by antigen testing, we no longer have comparable data.”

In truth, many states will not be offering the break-up of what number of of exams are by way of RT-PCR and what number of by way of antigen testing (see bulletin from Maharashtra right here and Tamil Nadu right here), as an alternative publishing mixture testing figures. The central govt’s testing figures additionally do not show this detail–as per the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), 18.83 million samples have been examined for Covid-19 in India, upto July 30.

Let’s take a more in-depth look, with the instance of Delhi. The Delhi govt has been testing further individuals with the antigen take a look at than the RT-PCR take a look at. The Delhi govt knowledgeable the Delhi High Court in July that 478,000 antigen exams had been finished between June 18 and July 29. ack. Please write to We reserve the proper to edit responses for language and grammar.

[Attribution Business Standard]

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