‘Easy availability of illegal testing kits major factor for failure to contain pandemic’
The ACOAM-Lup questioned the state government why legal actions under the state disaster management Act, 2005 cannot be taken against diagnostic whole-sellers, pharmacies and medical stockists for selling illegal testing kits.
Easy availability of illegal COVID-19 testing kits in various pharmacies is becoming a major factor for the failure in controlling the pandemic in Manipur, the All Club Organisation, Association and Meira Paibi Lup (ACOAM-Lup) stated on Friday.
During the visit of a central expert team, additional DDG and EMR director Dr L Swasticharan in the state, the organisation had appealed to the state government to take rapid and strict actions against anyone found guilty of selling or dealing in COVID-19 testing kits, a statement issued by joint secretary of ACOAM-Lup Th Baleswar stated.
The ACOAM-Lup also questioned the state government why legal actions under the state disaster management Act, 2005, cannot be taken against diagnostic whole-sellers, pharmacies and medical stockists for selling illegal testing kits.
Pharmacies and some stockists are selling illegal COVID-19 testing kits for personal use without the approval of ICMR while the items are intended for professional and healthcare use only, it stated, adding that ‘Standard Q Covid-19 AG test kit’ or similar testing kits are available in most of the pharmacies.
On the other hand, the state government under the initiative of CM N Biren has been taking necessary measures by providing free testing kits and free vaccines.
However, despite the state government imposing months-long curfew or intensified restriction in the state due to the prevailing pandemic situation, there is no significant change in the rate of mortality and people testing positive for COVID-19, it added.
It further pointed out how the use of Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) kit by non professionals or the general public can increase the spread of the virus since there is a high chance of showing false results due to lack of expertise and unfamiliarity with the testing process.
The failure in reporting Covid positive results to the state government implies that the data on COVID-19 could be inappropriate, it stated, mentioning that people testing positive for the virus discarding the testing kits at random locations could also be a major factor for the spread of the virus.