Covid, Rapid antigen testing is an additional screening method that can help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep workplaces open. Organizations can test on-site and get results in about 15 minutes without shipping to a lab.
During these days the covid cases and the death rates are increasing day by day. Testing-tracking-tracing, isolation, and home-based treatment of positive patients is the key measure to curb transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. As of today, India has a total of 2506 molecular testing laboratories including RTPCR, TrueNat, CBNAAT, and other platforms. The total daily National testing capacity is close to 15 lakh tests considering a three-shift operationalization of the existing laboratory network. At present, the laboratories are facing challenges to meet the expected testing target due to the extraordinary caseload and staff getting infected with COVID-19. In view of this situation, it is imperative to optimize the RTPCR testing and simultaneously increase the access and availability of testing to all citizens of the country.
Rapid antigen testings (RAT) were recommended for COVID-19 testing in June 2020. RAT provides a quick result which is a great advantage and is highly used for screening purposes. So far, ICMR has approved 36 RATs of which 10 are on the Government e-Market portal. To meet the overwhelming testing demand, it will be prudent to upscale testing using RATs.
ICMR pointed out that RAT should be available in Government and private healthcare facilities. They also emphasize that RAT booths will be developed in all cities and villages to provide large-scale testings. Testing booths may be set up at multiple locations including healthcare facilities, RWA, offices, schools, colleges, community centers, and other available vacant spaces. To improve the accessibility and availability of testing, these booths must be operational 24*7. Strict rules must be followed in RAT booths to avoid overcrowding. The government is also trying to fasten up the vaccination drive.
The government also added that even though corona cases are under control for these days but still they can deteriorate if Covid’s appropriate behavior is not followed, and noted that the next 100-125 days are critical, both for the system and people. The emergence of third waves is because the people are vulnerable to the infection. Giving rise to fresh worries about the COVID-19 pandemic rearing its head again, the R-factor, which indicates the speed at which the infection is spreading in the country, has risen recently leading to a sluggish pace in the decline of active cases, while Kerala and northeast states have emerged as regions of concern, an analysis by researchers at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai. It is important that as we are returning towards relaxation we must keep in mind the precautions that we have to take like the use of masks, maintaining a two-feet distance, and hand hygiene. Vaccination must also be made available to maximum people to reduce the effect of the pandemic. We really need to ramp up the vaccination and continue to follow all mitigation strategies meanwhile. If we look at the numbers in India still a large part of India is vulnerable to get Covid.