Central lab ICMR-NICED provided defective COVID-19 test kits: West Bengal govt

Written By: Pooja Mehta WION
Kolkata, West Bengal, India Published: Apr 19, 2020, 08:54 PM(IST)

Testing kits Photograph:( AFP )

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In a series of Tweets posted by the official Twitter handle of State Health and Family Welfare Department, the state accused ICMR-NICED of the delayed process in getting test results for COVID-19 in the state. 

At a time when the coronavirus pandemic is fast spreading across different parts of West Bengal, the state government on Sunday accused the central lab - ICMR-NICED for providing defective test kits. 

In a series of Tweets posted by the official Twitter handle of State Health and Family Welfare Department, the state accused ICMR-NICED of the delayed process in getting test results for COVID-19 in the state. 

“The apparently defective test kits supplied by ICMR-NICED, Kolkata are resulting in a high number of repeat/ confirmatory tests and causing delays and other attendant problems at a time when we are battling a pandemic. This is an issue that ICMR needs to look into immediately,” the Tweet reads. 

The Department of Health and Family Welfare through its Tweets also claimed that the COVID-19 test kits provided by ICMR-NICED two weeks back are throwing up ‘inconclusive’ reports hence the same sample are having to be tested again. 

“The testing kits supplied by ICMR-NICED about two weeks ago have started to throw up a large number of ‘inconclusive’ results, necessitating a repeat/ ‘confirmatory’ test run, thereby causing a delay in the generation of the final test report,” the Department wrote on Twitter. 

This apart, the state government alleged that till the time the COVID-19 test kits were being sent directly from National Institute of Virology, Pune, there was no problem until the kits were routed through ICMR-NICED. 

Interestingly, two weeks back, the Director of ICMR-NICED through interviews had claimed that the state was not testing enough samples and that the state was not sending enough samples to ICMR-NICED for testing despite having the manpower and infrastructure to test as many as 100 samples each day. 

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