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Covid 19 India: Corona tests shift to best gear | India News

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NEW DELHI: In a massive increase in testing for Covid-19, the government plans to double every three days the number of samples analyzed through the RT-PCR process, considered mandatory for accurate results, by government laboratories. The scope of the tests will be further expanded with a number of other tests, including those used for tuberculosis along with the recently approved rapid antibody tests for the diagnosis of suspected cases.

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Currently, the government laboratories of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) are testing more than 10,000 samples a day. This is expected to reach 20,000 in approximately three days and further increase in the coming weeks under the plan. In addition to this, around 250 TrueNat machines and 200 CB-NAAT machines (more popular such as GeneXpert) used for tuberculosis testing will be deployed to evaluate Covid-19 suspects, official sources said.

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“TrueNat and CB-NAAT are cartridge-based nucleic acid amplification tests. A machine can do about 12 tests a day. We have already placed orders for the cartridge, ”said an official. There are also two Roche COBAS-6800 machines, while orders for two more have been placed. The four machines can analyze up to 5,000 samples per day.

In its daily briefings, the Ministry of Health has maintained that it is framing its testing strategy in response to the developing situation, taking into account the need to evaluate those who need to be scanned and to ensure that unnecessary testing does not obstruct the system. After focusing on foreign travelers and their contacts who showed symptoms, the test arc was expanded to include all serious patients who reported flu-like illness.

The case was monitored by the well-developed Integrated Disease Management Program. The increase in suspected cases due to worker migration, the Tablighi Jamaat outbreak, and the need to control groups has led the government to significantly expand its coverage of evidence.

This plan, drawn up by the empowered group on testing and isolation, was approved by the Prime Minister’s Office after it was discussed in detail at the joint meeting of empowered groups on Saturday chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The response is guided by the increasing challenge and the changing color of the crisis. It is important to respond differently with the changing scenario, “said an official. A total of 89,534 samples were analyzed as of 9 p.m. Sunday, according to ICMR.

The new plan also includes a substantial number of rapid antibody-based blood tests as part of the containment strategy in high-risk and critical areas. This mainly includes groups and large migrations, meetings or evacuees centers. Test kits should start arriving from Wednesday. “We have already issued orders to evaluate all symptomatic influenza-like illnesses (ILI) and monitor such cases in health centers,” the official said.

He added that the increasing number of tests will help rule out further spread and at the same time ensure that infected people are treated on time. Some experts have criticized India’s test strategy and have expressed concern that the size of the test sample is too small to rule out community transmission. However, the government has argued that the tests had to be process-driven and could not simply be a “confidence-building exercise.”

Times of India

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