CURRENT CONCEPT OF COVID-19 TESTING

The COVID-19 pandemic in India is part of the worldwide pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). India currently has the largest number of confirmed cases in Asia, and has the third highest number of confirmed cases in the world after the United States and Brazil with the number of total 1,000,000 confirmed cases on 17 July 2020. As stated by WHO, only way one can control this pandemic and win this global war like situation is with 3 T’S i.e. Test, Test and Test.  Health Ministry of India has introduced a range of tests like

  • RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction)
  • Rapid Antibody Test
  • TrueNat
  •  Rapid Antigen Test

RT-PCR Test, is the most accurate method available for the detection of the pathogen that causes Covid-19, and other tests as “supplementary” to RT-PCR testing.

 

RT-PCR tests

Sample: Nasal and Throat Swabs

Principle: The test detects the virus’s RNA, which will be present in the body before antibodies form or symptoms of the disease are present, and tells whether or not someone has the infection. The test proceeds by converting the RNA to DNA through a process called ‘reverse transcription’.

TIME: The real time RT-PCR technique can deliver a reliable diagnosis in as little as three hours, although laboratories take on average between six and eight hours.