Antigen testing crucial in fight against COVID-19 in India, says GlobalData

Arresting the rapid surge in COVID-19 cases in India is crucial and one of the important tools to fight the pandemic is increasing the testing significantly among the general population. Antigen testing could effectively serve the purpose and rule out the asymptomatic and symptomatic carriers of COVID-19 in a cost-effective way with less turnaround time, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s Medical Intelligence Database, India’s in vitro diagnostics market was valued at about US$1.8bn in 2019. The market is primarily driven by the growing number of laboratories, physicians demand for testing before commencing the treatment and growing affordability among the general people.

Bhaskar Vittal, Medical Devices Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Badly hit and highly populated countries such as India can fight back the battle against COVID-19 by relying on antigen testing as conducting RT-PCR test requires higher investment in the form of skilled work force, expensive infrastructure, equipment and reagents. In contrast with RT-PCR tests, antigen testing can be easily done on the spot in doctor’s clinics, day care centers, hospitals, home care settings and industries.”

This will not only save valuable time but is also cost-effective, especially in countries such as India where the expenditure on public healthcare is very less compared to the developed countries.

Vittal concludes: “In India, few state governments have ramped up antigen testing to meet the unprecedented demand for COVID-19 tests. Taking cue from this, other state governments may follow the suit by increasing antigen testing to control the spread of COVID-19 infection.

“Early community screening with antigen testing gives fair idea about COVID-19 infection transmission. This will help healthcare bodies to segment the communities into low, medium and high risk population groups. It will also help in prudent allocation of limited medical resources to benefit the most vulnerable communities.”

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