FICCI releases white paper on COVID-19 rapid testing

During the FICCI webinar on 'Role of Testing in Unlocking India', organized on the fourth day of FICCI's Virtual Healthcare & Hygiene Expo (VHHE) 2020, the industry applauded the efforts of ICMR in ramping up COVID-19 testing facilities across the country and adopting new strategies to curb the spread of virus.
Dr Nivedita Gupta, Senior Scientist, Department of Epidemiology & Communicable Diseases, ICMR, shared the entire journey of ICMR, the apex medical research body, that has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 response. Although, the Department of Health Research, had prepared a network of 106 labs for viral research following the SARS of 2009, the only lab that was capable of doing the viral diagnosis at the time of COVID outbreak was in Pune. 
India has over 1000 facilities equipped to do the specialised molecular diagnostic testing at the moment. This has been done through strategic and appropriate steps and extensive training and capacity building of human resources across the labs and medical colleges.
Highlighting the strategy of ICMR in increasing the scope of testing, Dr Gupta mentioned that in the recent testing guidelines issued by the nodal body, three testing technologies are being used including the gold standard RT-PCR tests, the newly inducted antigen test and the IgG antibody test. She clarified that whereas the RT-PCR and antigen tests should be used for diagnosis of the disease, IgG antibody should be used for sero-surveillance.
Answering the question from the virtual audience, Dr Gupta said, "There is no direct relation between the severity of the illness in the disease and the viral load in the patient's body. There are cases where it has been found that even the asymptomatic patients have high viral load than a severely ill patient of COVID-19."
FICCI also released a whitepaper on ‘Economical, Accurate and Scalable COVID-19 Testing Solutions’ during the webinar. The paper gives some keen insights into seroprevalence studies with diagnostic testing, and how they impact COVID-19 management investments and plans. It will help to base our pandemic management strategies and future initiatives as the country unlocks.

FICCI also released a whitepaper on ‘Economical, Accurate and Scalable COVID-19 Testing Solutions’ during the webinar.

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