Health

Reasons & Repercussions of delay in RT-PCR test reports

What is the RT-PCR test?

The COVID-19 RT-PCR Test is a real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test for detecting nucleic acid from SARS-cov-2 in nasopharyngeal /oropharyngeal swab specimens from those who have been afflicted with COVID-19.  RT-PCR is a laboratory technique that involves reverse transcription (RT) of viral RNA into DNA, followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to boost the complementary DNA (PCR019). This COVID-19 RT-PCR test in Gurgaon is one of the most efficient methods for COVID-19 detection.

How does it work?

A sample is taken from the body where the COVID-19 virus gathers, such as the nose or throat. The sample is subjected to a series of chemicals that remove substances such as proteins and fats while extracting only the RNA present in the sample. This extracted RNA contains both the person’s genetic material and, if present, the virus’s RNA. A specific enzyme is used to reverse transcribe the RNA to DNA. Scientists then support the transcribed viral DNA with additional short fragments of DNA that are complementary to specific parts of the transcribed viral DNA. If the virus is present in the sample, these fragments bind to specific sections of the viral DNA. Some of the added genetic fragments are used during amplification to build DNA strands, while others are used to build the DNA and add marker labels to the strands, which are then used to detect the virus.

Why refer to the RT-PCR report?

It is one of the fastest and most accurate COVID-19 detection methods available. Real-time RT–PCR is a sensitive technique that employs specialized equipment to offer a proper diagnosis in three to four hours. The test results are highly confirmatory considering two tests are conducted before reporting, the first at the time of screening and the second at the time of reporting. Hence considering it as the gold standard for detecting COVID-19.

Delay in the tet report

At a time when more than one out of every four people tested positive for COVID, the inordinate delay in receiving the results of RT-PCR tests is posing serious problems for containment strategies. According to a source, the positive cases announced on a specific day resulted from tests performed at least six days prior.

Why is the delay?

According to Health Department sources, the results at government facilities are being delayed due to a large surge in the number of people seeking tests. Covid-infected people are now asked not to return for a retest after 17 days of isolation unless Covid symptoms persist.

The majority of labs have adequate infrastructure, whether in the form of machines or testing kits. However, they are running out of manpower. The virus has infected many of their technicians.

Dr. Sharath Kumar, nodal officer, Mangaluru Virology Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, at District Wenlock Hospital, stated that despite a large surge in samples, they were able to test almost all of them without much backlog and attributed the delay to the website updating the test results. As they streamline and update the data on the website, the situation will be resolved soon.

What does it mean?

People in urgent need of test results are leaving government hospitals without being tested because the RT-PCR results will take at least 7 days. They are forced to seek treatment at private hospitals, which charge between Rs 800 and Rs 1,300 per test. An employee of a private hospital defended these rates, claiming that the results are delivered quickly.

Companies like SpiceHealth have emerged to provide quality services during these times of extreme distress when a lack of Covid-19 RT-PCR testing has become a serious issue. Because many private hospitals charge a high price for a Covid Test. SpiceHealth offers RT-PCR tests in Gurgaon at a very low and affordable price. SpiceHealth’s Gurgaon lab has some of the most affordable prices in the country. SpiceHealth is effectively directing RT-PCR tests in Gurgaon. Click here to book your slot for RT-PCR test in Gurgaon.

Consequences Of Delay Test Reports

The delay in receiving the results has impacted some hospital admissions, where patients were admitted as an emergency. However, when the test results came in, they were discovered to be Covid positive.

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the district rises, RT-PCR test results are taking 7-10 days to reach the people, adding to their stress and forcing them to seek treatment at private facilities. While private hospitals provide results within 24 hours, government hospitals take 7-10 days or longer.

Due to the delay in declaring test results, many people are forced to rely on private labs, while others, instead of being isolated at home, roam the streets, allowing the virus to spread.

Health experts emphasized the importance of running as many tests as possible to identify as many infected cases as possible. According to them, a high TPR also indicated that a large number of infected people were not being tested.

Hospitals and laboratory management systems are deteriorating. The data from the results must be uploaded within 24 hours. However, overburdened centers are even failing to provide results within 48 hours of collecting swab samples. As the number of cases grows, so does the demand for tests. The burden has become so severe that hospitals and clinics are being forced to discontinue home collection.

Despite having adequate infrastructure and machines and testing kits, many labs are closing for three to four days due to overburdening and a lack of manpower.

To address the delay in announcing test results, the district administration was permitted by the government to send excess samples from government facilities to private laboratories. However, the situation has not improved, forcing people to repeat tests at private hospitals to get quick results.

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