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FICCI whitepaper discusses pandemic management testing strategy during post lockdown days

Our Bureau, Mumbai
Thursday, June 11, 2020, 17:10 Hrs  [IST]

FICCI released a whitepaper on 'Economical, Accurate and Scalable COVID-19 Testing Solutions' as the need for India's seroprevalence studies, to base its pandemic management strategies and future initiatives, as lockdown is getting lifted across the country.

It is significant to note that recently ICMR released a communication on the list of antibody tests that are available for such studies, especially with high-risk groups like healthcare workers.

Dr Sangita Reddy, president, FICCI and joint managing director, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises said, "The COVID-19 experience is new to all of us, but I am confident that we shall have a lot to take back from this experience as learnings, to build an Indian healthcare system that is resilient to any future situation. The Whitepaper is an effort in this direction, giving us some keen insights into seroprevalence studies with diagnostic testing, and how they impact COVID-19 management investments and plans of the future."

From the onset of the pandemic to date, diagnostics have been at the heart of the discussion. RT-PCR based molecular testing has been enabling detection of the novel coronavirus, while antibody testing is aimed at assessing the spread of infection to plan mitigation measures and assess the safety of returning to work.

Dr Shravan Subramanyam, co-chair, FICCI medical devices committee and managing director, Roche Diagnostics India said, "India needs to focus on technology agnostic solutions that offer the best clinical outcomes to measure exposure and potential immune response with SARS CoV-2 antibody tests. Fully automated lab-based serology antibody tests are being widely adopted by several countries, including Singapore, which is leveraging CLIA to screen 300K migrant workers, UK, which announced that it is employing similar tests as a mass screening tool, especially for its healthcare workers and the US which is planning to launch a 25-city COVID-19 antibody study in June/July."

Narendra Varde, general manager and country Head at Abbott's diagnostics business in India said, "Abbott recognizes that large scale antibody testing is critical to understanding and addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. We welcome ICMR's recommendation of IgG testing to measure COVID exposure in the population including asymptomatic individuals."

Arpan Malhotra, India business head - Diagnostics, Siemens Healthcare Private Limited said, "Country is moving towards a need for mass screening and community surveillance for COVID-19. Laboratory based antibody tests (CLIA) are not just higher in sensitivity, but are also scalable to very high throughputs. This can enable an increased expanse of COVID-19 testing to larger population via already available network of thousands of government and private facilities, that are equipped for this testing."


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