What is RT-PCR test for Covid-19 and how does it work?
What is RT-PCR test for Covid-19?
This is a laboratory test that can identify the virus that causes COVID-19. This test is intended for the detection of the SARS-CoV-2. Method – Real-Time PCR It makes use of Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)-PCR Diagnostic Panels.
As per the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) guidelines, Government ID ( Aadhaar card / Voter Id / Passport ) to support the current address and contact number of the suspect patient needs to be provided to the lab processing the sample.
The suspect case will also be asked about travel history and Covid-19 patient interaction (if any).
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Why is COVID-RTPCR done?
Who should be tested
1. All symptomatic individuals with ILI (influenza-like illness) symptoms with a history of international travel in the last 14 days.
2. All symptomatic (ILI symptoms) contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases.
3. All symptomatic (ILI symptoms) individuals who are health care workers/frontline workers involved in containment and mitigation of COVID19.
4. All patients suffering from Severe Acute Respiratory Infection (SARI).
5. Asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case who are to be tested once between day 5 and day 10 after coming in contact.
6. All symptomatic ILI people within hotspots/containment zones.
7. All hospitalized patients who develop ILI symptoms.
8. All returnees and migrants with symptomatic ILI within 7 days of illness.
9. No emergency procedure should be delayed for a lack of testing. However, samples can be sent for testing if any of the above (1- 8) criteria are met.
Note: A case of ILI is defined as one where acute respiratory infection with fever ≥ 38◦C AND cough are present. SARI case is defined as one where acute respiratory infection with fever ≥ 38◦C AND cough are present AND requires immediate hospitalization. All testing in the above-mentioned categories is recommended by the real-time RT-PCR test only.
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