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Rajasthan stops use of Chinese rapid testing kits due to inaccurate results

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A medical worker puts blood sample in a kit for rapid blood test | Representational Image | Carlos Becerra | Bloomberg
A medical worker puts blood sample in a kit for rapid blood test | Representational Image | Carlos Becerra | Bloomberg


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Jaipur: The Rajasthan government on Tuesday stopped using the China-made rapid testing kits for coronavirus after they delivered inaccurate results.

The state’s health minister Raghu Sharma said the kits gave only 5.4 per cent accurate results against the expectation of 90 per cent accuracy and therefore the kits were of no benefit, adding that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has been informed about the issue.

“We have written to ICMR asking what to do. We are waiting for their response. The rapid test results were negative even on patients who tested positive in lab tests,” the minister said.

A committee comprising heads of medicine and microbiology departments at the Sawai Man Singh government hospital here was set up by the government to examine the accuracy of the kits and it found that only 5.4 per cent test results were accurate.

“As per the advice of the committee, we have stopped testing from the rapid testing kits,” the minister said.

He said 168 tests were conducted through rapid testing kits that were also used for testing of patients who have already tested positive for coronavirus in PCR based tests and the result was negative in their case too, which, the minister said, raised questions about the credibility of these kits.

“If the ICMR’s response comes in our favour, the kits could be returned,” he said.

Rajasthan had started conducting tests through rapid testing kits on Friday in the state’s hotspots, starting from Jaipur.

Additional chief secretary medical and health Rohit Kumar Singh said the kits are China made. The state government got 30,000 kits through ICMR for free while 10,000 kits were purchased at a cost of Rs. 540 plus tax per kit.

The rapid testing kits, through which blood samples are tested, were aimed at speeding up screening and detection of suspected coronavirus patients as they take less time to show results in comparison to the swab-based tests carried out in pathology labs.

The rapid kit test was not a confirmatory test and PCR based test was required for confirmation of a positive result.


Also read: West Bengal govt alleges Covid-19 kits supplied by ICMR-NICED are defective


 

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’

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A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay


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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”


Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot


‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.


Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown


 

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