The Haryana government has got the Centre's nod to use testing kits manufactured by a South Korean company to conduct COVID-19 rapid tests, state minister Anil Vij said on Wednesday.
The state government had received its first lot of 25,000 rapid test kits from SD Biosensor, a South Korean bio-diagnostic company, a week ago.
Last week, India had procured 5 lakh rapid antibody test kits from two Chinese firms and they were distributed to several states reporting a rise in the number of coronavirus cases.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), however, advised states to stop using these kits till it examined their quality in the wake of complaints that they were not fully effective.
Vij had earlier brought to the Union health ministry's notice that Haryana had procured 25,000 rapid test kits from a South Korean company and it was not using the Chinese ones, but the state was asked to put these also on hold for the time being.
"However, now we have been given permission by the Centre to go ahead and conduct the tests using the kits which we had procured from the South Korean company," the Haryana health minister said on Wednesday.
He said the rapid test kits will be first used to test health and sanitation workers as well as police personnel who are at the frontline of the coronavirus battle.
Hawkers, ration depot holders, vegetable sellers, milk sellers and others who come into contact with several people daily will also be tested, the minister said, adding besides the tests will be conducted in containment zones.
Some of the coronavirus positive patients, who are admitted in hospitals will also be re-tested using these kits, "which will give some idea about the accuracy of these tests".
Besides, rapid tests will be conducted on nearly 11,000 people who have shown symptoms of the disease during the ongoing door-to-door screening by health workers, Vij said.
"We had already procured 25,000 kits from the South Korean company, which has a presence in Manesar in Gurgaon, and have placed order for 75,000 more kits," he said.
The minister added that four samples from Ambala district and seven from Gurgaon, which were tested by a private laboratory and in which discrepancy was found, "have been sent to AIIMS in Delhi for re-testing."