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Antibody testing quite complicated, says Metropolis’ Ameera Shah; warns against false positive

Updated : March 08, 2021 02:15 PM IST

As COVID-19 cases spike across the country and vaccinations also pick up the pace, CNBC-TV18 spoke to Ameera Shah, Promoter and MD of Metropolis to discuss the testing picture and their business outlook currently.

Shah said that the positivity rate has increased in South and West India and believes that infection may continue to spread in different parts of India.

“It is very geographically focused at this point in time in different places. So, in places like Maharashtra, Kerala we have seen an increase in COVID cases. We still have to be careful and we have to follow the government’s advice on wearing mask, sanitization and social distancing. Unfortunately, that is not happening and that puts us more at risk of the number of cases continuing to increase. Also, in different parts of the country my feeling is that we may continue to see the infections spread over the next many months,” she said.

According to Shah, antibody testing is quite complicated as she believes that a percentage of population might end up getting false positive for antibodies.

“Antibody testing is quite complicated. We have to remember that in science there is something called as “true positive” and a “false positive”. There is a percentage of population who may land up getting false positive even of antibodies. You also have to see whether those antibodies are the kind of antibodies you need, it is about the timing of the test. So, it is up for many interpretations, it is not as simplistic as people are making it out to be,” she said.

She said that for Metropolis, COVID-19 testing has picked up in Q4. However, for non-COVID business, she said that there is a geographic variation in terms of revenue.

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