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Received Bengal’s grievance about faulty testing kits: ICMR

New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) The Indian Council Of Medical Research on Monday said that it received grievances regarding faulty testing kits from West Bengal and has made up a temporary arrangement to handle the crisis.

At a press conference here, ICMR’s Chief Scientist, Dr Raman Gangakhedkar, said that the kits are approved by the US FDA and are of good quality but they may show error if they are kept above 20 degrees temperature.

“We have received a grievance that in West Bengal, RT PCR kits are not working properly.They complained that they had to conduct repeat tests. Although these kits are US FDA approved and maintain good quality standards, the only thing that needs to be careful about is that these kits should be stored below 20 degrees temperature, otherwise, results may not be correct” he said.

Gangakhedkar also said: “We have told the West Bengal Government that the kits we use in NIV which can do 10,000 tests and are available in Kolkata. We are providing these kits for temporary use to get over the crisis.

Responding to another query from the media about the alleged fault in imported testing kits, he said that minute difference between the accurate trend here and there does not make much difference in testing.

“The rapid test kits are not used for individual diagnosis anywhere in the world because the fact still remains unknown whether the antibodies produced against this virus have the potential to fight it, and how powerful they are. Therefore they can be used for surveillance purposes. Suppose if 5 percent people have disease and it showed 4.5 percent and the error is consistent, then in the epidemiological survey in which we are monitoring trends, it does not make much difference. For example while checking body weight with different weighing machines, some difference is noticed but it does not make much difference. Moreover the quality, sensitivity and specificity of the kits has been duly checked and they have passed the quality tests. Therefore there are less chances of them being faulty,” Gangakhedkar said.

–IANS

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