The COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 11th March 2020. As of 31st March 2020 7, 77,798 cases of COVID-19 and 37,272 deaths. As of 31st March India reported 1,637 cases and 38 deaths. COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, dry cough, breathing difficulty, and body ache. 80% of patients recover without any serious complications. COVID-19 spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs and spreads the infected droplets. COVID-19 can spread through direct or indirect contact. The COVID-19 virus can last on surfaces and clothes for many days. Touching your nose, mouth or eyes after touching the infected surface can transmit disease. The virus can be in incubation for up to 14 days before you show any symptoms. The virus can be transmitted even if you are asymptomatic.
Right now testing is done if you have symptoms of the infection, have recently traveled overseas, or been in close contact with someone who has traveled overseas or been in contact with someone infected. The government of India is trying hard to prevent the transmission of COVID -19 into stage 3.
Before you get tested you need a prescription COVID-19 from a qualified physician, you will need a government ID, and filled form. Your test results can be shared with government agencies.
Testing of COVID-19 involves taking swabs from your nose or the back of your throat. Aspirate fluid from the respiratory tract, blood test, or salvia or stool sample can also be collected. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test or RT-PCR is the recommended test to diagnose COVID-19. Your samples are collected by trained lab technicians wearing a bio-hazard suit. Results are generally available within a few hours or 2 days. Two genes can be found within the SARS-Co-V2-genome. Your test results can be:-
Positive if both genes are found Inconclusive if only one gene is found Negative if no gene is found. The ICMR or Indian Council of Medical Research has approved 176 labs and 47 private labs for the COVID-19 test. The Cobs SARS CoV-2 by Roche was the first test approved by the ICMR. The TaqPath COVID019 Combo Kit from Thermo Fisher is in the process of getting validated. Three Indian manufacturers are in the process of getting validated.
Private testing labs have been asked to use probes and reagents approved by the FDA. These tests are expensive. India needs to develop mass-produced kits within the country to keep the cost down. While developing these systems the accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity have to tested and certified before being approved for further use.