Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, a pertinent question being asked is where, how, and most importantly, when can one check if he/she is infected.
Only government hospitals are conducting free of cost check-ups for the novel coronavirus as of now.
The testing process involves the sampling of various bodily fluids and takes up to five hours. The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex body in India for the formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research, has released a list of 52 laboratories capable of administering the test.
The ICMR has also approved 57 medical facilities for sample collection.
Who Should Be Tested?
According to an ICMR report released on March 6, the following people should be considered for COVID-19 testing:
1. Symptomatic (fever, sore throat, running nose, dyspnea, etc) individuals returned from affected countries (China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Iran, Italy etc.)
2. Close contacts of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 infection.
3. All individuals evacuated and quarantined from Wuhan, China and Diamond Princess ship, Japan
Personnel working at all the 57 collection centres and 52 laboratories have been trained by ICMR and Pune's National Institute of Virology.
Number Of Tests Conducted By The Laboratories
As of March 6, 2020, a total of 4058 samples from 3404 individuals have been tested by the network. This includes testing of 1308 samples from 654 individuals evacuated from Wuhan, China and quarantined at ITBP and Manesar Camp and tested twice on days 0 and 14. Subsequently, another 236 individuals evacuated from Wuhan and Diamond Princess Ship, Japan on 27th February 2020 were tested on day 0. Repeat testing will be conducted on day 14.
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