As the number of cases in Uttar Pradesh soars to 558, the government has roped in the pool testing technique for rapid testing.
After Israel implementing the pool testing technique, Uttar Pradesh is going to be the first state in India to follow this model. The state believes that it will help save time and also ensure efficient testing.
Dr Badri Vishal R Singh, director of Health and Family Welfare department, UP government said, “We can test 10 samples at a time by this method, which not only saves a lot of time but also makes it possible to increase the number of testing. We’ve discussed this in the meeting and soon implement it too. We are testing around 1500-2000 samples daily.”
Many Israeli researchers have used this method and have found a way to test around 64 samples of COVID at a time.
Doctors also use techniques like swab samples, real-time testing method reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT PCR) to test suspect patients but the lack of kits has made it difficult to test several samples at a time.
Neeraj Pandey at King George’s Medical (KGMC) hospital stated, “According to ICMR’s guideline five samples can be tested at a time. Due to the lack of kits, it used to take 10 hours to test samples. But with this method, we can test 5 samples at a time. If the sample returns positive then we know that coronavirus symptoms are present and we test the samples individually. Earlier it used to take five different kits to test 5 samples, but now only one kit is sufficient. This is a time and cost-efficient way.”
The new meeting of ICMR said that Agra, Meerut, Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Saharanpur, and 15 other districts will have an instant implementation of pool testing.
This method will also help to test around 5 lakhs patients from both rural and urban sectors in different parts of Uttar Pradesh, according to the doctors.
The new guidelines of the ICMR test also suggest the revised plan according to which all the patients showing symptoms of COVID (fever, cold, cough, headache, sore throat, and runny nose) will be tested under the RT PCR method.
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