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Rapid Test Kits for Dengue Inaccurate, Indian Govt. to Ban Them Soon

The Indian government plans to ban the sale of rapid diagnostic test kits used for ‘quick’ detection of dengue infection as it does not provide accurate results, an official said on Tuesday. ‘Talks are going on with experts of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). We may ban the sale of rapid diagnostic kits, which are believed not to be reliable,’ Director General of Health Services (DGHS) Jagdish Prasad said.

The union health ministry has also decided to seek reports from individual hospitals in Delhi — including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and Safdarjung Hospital — to ensure that there is no fudging of dengue numbers reported in the national capital. Prasad said the ministry only recommends ELISA-based kits, which are provided by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) at 499 sentinel surveillance hospitals and 15 apex referral laboratories to facilitate free diagnosis.

The decision comes a day after the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) said the city has witnessed 1,259 dengue cases with two deaths till September 5 — 38 times higher than 2014 during when, only 33 cases were recorded in the corresponding period. The number was 255 in 2013, 17 in 2012 and 104 in 2011. In 2010, however, the number was 1,512 till September 5.

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