Waiting for COVID-19 test kits from ICMR, says Kerala Health Minister

South India

Kerala Health Minister, KK Shailaja said that the government are waiting for good kits from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct antibody tests.


"We got some kits from ICMR but the kits were not in good condition. We had informed ICMR about that. We are waiting for good kits from them”, KK Shailaja said.

“Once we get the test kits, we will validate them. Once we confirm the quality of the kits,we will then do the antibody tests," she added.

On Thursday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said that there is no community spread in the state so far but the threat continues.

In Kerala, Kasargod, Kannur, Kozhikode, and Malappuram districts will be in the red zone with full restrictions.

He had said there would be an increase in the number of random tests in the red zones.

"In an effort to confirm that there is no community spread in the State, random antibody tests would be conducted among health workers, police personnel, home delivery persons, volunteers and migrant labourers," he had said.

The Chief Minister added that COVID-19 labs set up at the Pariyaram Government Medical College at Kannur and the Kottayam Medical College have got the approval from the ICMR for coronavirus testing. The lab at Kannur Medical College will start functioning from Friday.

The UV sterilised lab, spread over 2,200 sq ft is equipped with four real-time PCR machines. In the first phase, this lab will be able to do 15 tests per day, which will be gradually increased to conduct 60 tests in the next phase.

"With the opening of these two new labs, tests to detect COVID-19 will be conducted in 14 government labs in Kerala. Apart from this, there are two private labs also in Kerala which are doing these tests. Since the number of coronavirus cases is again increasing in the State, the government has decided to procure ten real-time PCR machines to ramp up testing," he added.

According to the Health Ministry, Kerala has so far recorded 447 cases of coronavirus, out of which 324 people have been cured and 3 have died.

With inputs from ANI

Image credit: The Hans India

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