Gautam Buddh Nagar, one of the worst-hit districts by COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh, will get 15,000 antigen-based testing kits, which will help in early tracking and containment of cases, and reduction of mortality rate, officials said on Tuesday.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex body for biomedical research in the country, will provide these kits and also train the health department officials, they said.
Gautam Buddh Nagar, adjoining Delhi, has recorded over 1,550 positive cases, including 19 deaths, so far, official figures showed on Tuesday.
“As per the instructions of the Centre and the UP government, we will start the antigen-based COVID-19 testing in Gautam Buddh Nagar along with other regions of the NCR. The ICMR officials will train the health department officials and lab technicians of Meerut division on June 24 in Noida,” District Magistrate Suhas L Y said.
“We are getting 15,000 test kits from the ICMR. Health teams shall identify high-risk groups, patients who have influenza-like illness (ILI), comorbidities, etc. Also, a special testing drive shall be held in containment zones. Dedicated teams shall be formed for antigen-based testing,” he said.
“This shall help in early tracking, containment and reduction of mortality rate,” he added.
The rapid antigen-based test using nasal swab samples allows infected patients to be diagnosed much faster, at a lower cost and without laboratory examination. It helps cover a large population in a short span of time and with quick results, it allows authorities to modify their strategies accordingly.