Covid self-diagnostic kits a headache for state government

KA Babu

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ANI file photo.

Alappuzha: Easily available self-test antigen kits are becoming a headache for the health department as the state do not get to know the results.

Many are nowadays opting for faster and easily available self-test kits. The antigen kits can be bought from medical stores for around Rs 250. An RPCTR test costs Rs 500. The antigen kits are faster also. However, the health department is in a blind spot as it never knows how many of them are testing positive. The department also is unable to check if the patients are following Covid-19 protocols.

The self-testing can go wrong in many ways, opines medical practitioners. Self sample collection may end up in an insufficient sample, which in turn may give false-negative results in the antigen test, said Dr Sabu Sugatha, Chairman of State Ethics Committee of KGMOA.

The government or private institutions do not accept antigen test results. The kits are predominantly used by the youth and students. Some medical shop owners also encourage buying it as it gives a good profit.

Though it is mandated that shops must maintain record of those who buy the kit, many do not follow this. The drug inspectors say that the sales cannot be stopped as the kits are not banned.

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