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Covid test: State may allow sale of rapid antigen test kits in open market

Covid test: State may allow sale of rapid antigen test kits in open market
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Kolkata: State government may allow the sale of COVID-19 rapid antigen test kits in open market if they clear the quality checks carried out by the health department.

The state government has already received proposals from some agencies to allow the sale of COVID-19 antigen kits so that people can buy these kits and examine themselves.

People may no longer visit the hospitals to get the COVID tests done if these kits fulfill the quality parameters.

Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex medical research body has already allowed all the states to explore the option of rapid antigen testing to increase the number of tests. Antigen detection test does not require any specialised machine and it shows results within 30 minutes. Patients will be able to know the result by themselves. The antigen test kit which has been developed by a South Korean biotechnology firm SD Biosensor will cost around Rs 450.

"The state government may give permission to sell the COVID rapid antigen test kits in the open market only after they meet the quality standards as prescribed by the government or by the ICMR. Before being allowed to hit the markets, the antigen test kits may be applied on the people in the containment zones of the city. These kits may also be utilised at the Covid hospitals before allowing them to be sold in the market," a senior health official said.

The official also pointed out that it would be examined whether there is any possibility for the infection being spread from these kits after they are used. The disposal of these kits is of paramount importance. The Health department will also issue guidelines for the usage of antigen kits after they receive the final nod from the government.

The guidelines will also spell out norms as to how these antigen kits can be disposed

off.

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