The world continues to fight the covid-19 pandemic even though its severity has reduced by a large extent over the last few months. We cannot ignore the future dangers of another wave lurking around us in the testing times. We have faced a lot and will continue to face if we are irresponsible towards taking precautions and ignoring the dangers it can pose.
One way to tackle the super spreading of the covid-19 virus is through efficient testing. RT-PCR tests are considered to be the best way to determine the presence of the covid-19 virus in a human body. In this regard, the governments of different states have issued different guidelines pertaining to RT-PCR tests in their respective states. Like other states, Delhi Government had also put up certain guidelines.
Covid-19 suspected individuals
First of all , During the current COVID-19 outbreak, any individual presenting with fever, cough, headache, sore throat, body ache, recent loss of taste or smell, exhaustion, and diarrhoea should be regarded as a COVID-19 suspect case unless proven otherwise.
The COVID-19 RT-PCR Test is a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test for the detection of nucleic acid from SARS-cov-2 by collecting nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab specimens from individuals suspected of COVID-19.
RT-PCR is a laboratory technique involving reverse transcription (RT) of viral RNA into DNA and then this Complementary DNA is amplified by the help of another technique called polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
When to use RT-PCR testing?
The Delhi government advises all laboratories, both public and private, to make full use of the available RT PCR testing capacity.
Symptomatic patients who test positive for RAT should not be re-tested, according to ICMR guidelines, and should instead get home-based medications and quarantine.
Symptomatic persons who are found to be negative by RAT should be referred to an RT PCR testing facility, and they should be advised to continue with home isolation and medication in the meanwhile.
Documents required to get tested
At the time of booking, no documents are required, and the customer only needs to supply some basic customer information. Customers must fill out the ICMR Specimen Referral Form for 2019-Covid19 after scheduling a slot. During sample collection, the customer must present a government-issued photo ID (Aadhar Card, Voter ID, Passport, Driving Licence) in addition to the booking ID.
Private labs sample collection
The total number of positive samples has increased significantly as a result of the increased testing across the country. Keeping this in mind, it is recommended that private labs that have been connected with ICMR validation centres seek the requirements of these centres on a regular basis. The validation centres will instruct labs that have been assigned to them to deliver the required number of positive and negative results to help such centres validate different kits that become available for validation
Many independent companies have emerged to provide RT-PCR testing for covid-19 at an affordable price. SpiceHealth has emerged as the fastest growing diagnostic lab in India having conducted more than 2.3 million RT-PCR tests since its launch in Delhi in November 2020. SpiceHealth’s RT-PCR tests in Delhi are the country’s cheapest RT-PCR tests starting from just Rs. 499/-. SpiceHealth uses high quality gear and trained expertise to generate reliable results.
Pathology labs and RT-PCR tests recent guidelines
The Delhi Government laid down the guidelines which stated that path laboratories are not allowed to conduct repeated RT-PCR tests on people who have already tested positive by RT-PCR test or Rapid Antigen Test (RAT). The cautions are based on guidelines released on May 4, 2021 by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which aim to optimise India’s testing resources and reduce the strain on path laboratories in the wake of the Second Covid wave. Due to the pressure on India’s testing infrastructure, patients have reported delays in getting tested for Covid after infection, or test results coming late, delaying treatment. Such guidelines were issued so that there is no shortage of testing facilities but it may exhaust if repeated tests are conducted on a single person.
Regular check on other all RT-PCR test laboratories
It is critical to improve RT-PCR testing while also expanding testing available to all the citizens. The Southwest Delhi district issued a warning to private laboratories, stating that action will be done “under the relevant rules against the labs that are engaged in money-making business in this pandemic situation.” It was also stated that all the path labs must abide by the protocols and the appropriate authorities are continuously supervising the RT-PCR test entries and as per the guidelines, the defaulters will have to face punishments.
Mobile testing laboratories
The GeM portal now includes mobile testing laboratories. States are encouraged to use mobile systems to supplement RT PCR testing. In India, SpiceHealth, a subsidiary of SpiceJet was the first to introduce the innovative concept of SpiceHealth mobile testing laboratories for conducting RT-PCR tests in Delhi
It was stated by the Government that, it has to focus on the active cases and the test can also pick up the dead virus which shall result in the wastage of a test and the efforts and thus, depriving the actual positive person of the testing facility.