India

Re-Test Symptomatic Cases Who Were Covid -Ve In Antigen Tests: Centre

Re-Test Symptomatic Cases Who Were Covid -Ve In Antigen Tests: Centre
New Delhi:

People who had coronavirus symptoms but tested negative in Rapid Antigen Tests must be tested again, the government told states today amid a record one-day surge in cases across the country.

The RT-PCR test should be used to confirm Covid cases, the Union Health Ministry said in an advisory.

"States/union territories to ensure that no positive cases are missed to curb the spread of infection," the ministry said.

The advisory comes as states have increased the use of Rapid Antigen Testing, which is cheaper and faster but also has a high rate of false negatives - a problem recognised even by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

Recently, an ICMR advisory had stressed that states must test all people living in containment zones using Rapid Antigen Testing kits, especially in the cities that are badly affected by the coronavirus outbreak. However, it added that an RT-PCR test should be done "if an individual develops symptoms following a negative RAT".

The daily numbers being released for India's rate of Covid-positivity could be misleading, shows an analysis of the data on testing, which has access to.

The daily positivity rate in the country is 8.4 per cent - a rise from Wednesday's 7.7 per cent, government data showed today.

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India recorded 95,735 coronavirus cases in the last 24 hours, the highest so far, taking the total number of infections to over 44.65 lakh. The country also recorded the highest deaths in a day with 1,172 fatalities.

There are over 9.19 lakh active cases in India, which is the second worst-affected nation