The COVID-19 cases tested through Raid Antigen Testing (RAT) seems doubtful after the government recently asked all the States and Union Territories that all COVID symptomatic patients, who have tested negative in the Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT), mandatorily undergo a RT-PCR test. Such a decision from the Health Ministry and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in joint letters has put a question mark over the credibility of RAT, which seems to be used aggressively in Jammu and Kashmir. The aggressive use of RAT comes at a time when Jammu and Kashmir is witnessing a huge spike in the number of cases tested on each passing day. The toll is mounting at a rapid pace and there seems no let-up in it as the number of cases surpasses the previous spike of cases here. Therefore, the government and ICMR’s directions at this juncture should be taken as a wakeup call and the testes being conducted through RAT should be stopped forthwith while the authorities should gear up for Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing so that the credible reports will be brought to the public and also the positive cases can be detected easily. Such a mechanism would ensure that the virus is prevented from spreading and the positive cases, who are probably tested negative through RAT would be identified on apt time and the future cases can also be prevented.
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