Pakistan using 80% of COVID-19 testing kits of substandard quality: Report

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Updated: Jan 22, 2022, 09:30 PM(IST)

Scientists deliberately infected young, healthy volunteers with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 — and now, they've shared their first results from that experiment. Photograph:( Others )

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As per the report, Pakistan has imported Covid diagnostic kits from China, Turkey, the US and several European countries

A report on coronavirus (COVID-19) testing kits highlights a critical situation in Pakistan as it has been stated that the majority of the virus testing is apparently inaccurate. The testing kits imported by the country were of substandard quality.

A Pakistan-based media newspaper The Express Tribune reported citing a health expert that nearly 80 per cent of imported testing kits were of substandard quality and showed discrepancies in the results. 

Also, the results of low-quality kits used by most health facilities in the country are 50 per cent accurate, the report said. 

The newspaper highlighted the point that Pakistan is yet to form a uniform policy for the diagnosis of various infections including coronavirus. 

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Dr Saeed Khan, Professor of Pathology at Dow University Ojha campus talked about the types of kits that are currently being used in the country for Covid testing, which are automatic, semi-automatic and manual.

Human involvement is not needed in fully automatic kits, whereas the semi-automatic ones involve the use of human hands. 

"If the technician has obtained the patient's sample with expertise and applied it for testing through the automated kit, then the results are perfectly accurate," he said as quoted by the newspaper. 

He also talked about the handling of the testing kits, he said that the samples must be kept at a required temperature. "If a patient's sample is taken and placed in the sunlight or in a warm place, the results will be radically different," Dr Khan added. 

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He said that while some large hospitals in the country are administering US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved, high-quality testing kits, smaller laboratories have resorted to using unreliable, cheaper kits.

As per the report, Pakistan has imported Covid diagnostic kits from China, Turkey, the US and several European countries.

Dr Khan recommended stricter testing regulations to stop the use of non-FDA approved kits, as well as a uniform national policy on the diagnosis of infectious diseases. 

Pakistan shattered previous records on Friday (January 21), when the country reported the highest number of new daily cases since the pandemic began in early 2020. 

The country reported 7,678 new coronavirus cases during the last 24 hours — the highest number of cases since the pandemic began in Feb 2020.

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(With inputs from agencies)

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