RT-PCR: Suggestions to District Administration
Voice of The Reader

RT-PCR: Suggestions to District Administration

May 17, 2021

Sir,

The targeted testing [(Influenza-like illness or ILI) and (Severe Acute Respiratory Infections or SARI)] coupled with lockdown, introducing ‘Covid Mitras’ for proper triaging, providing home isolation kit, telemedicine, streamlining the oxygen supply, centralised bed allotment through covid War Rooms, increasing ventilator beds, stepped up vaccination, are some of the best decisions that the District Administration has taken to save lives as well as to provide beds and oxygen, ICU support to needy patients.

However, over a period of time, targeted testing and decreased testing numbers may not be sustainable and may contribute to a delay in flattening the curve or may take longer than expected to bring down the positive rate in the district.

There are hundreds of asymptomatic people, who could be a potential source to ILI and SARI patients. Without being tested, asymptomatic people may roam around and may become super spreaders and may add to the continued morbidity and mortality of Covid-19.

Therefore, it is logical to consider to have increased testing of asymptomatic people by RT-PCR (RTPCR is the only technique that can detect Covid-19 in asymptomatic stage while CT scan can diagnose in mild to moderate symptomatic stage and requires payment!), segregate them and may strictly guide them for home isolation after triaging through Covid Mitras.

This way, testing number increases, contact tracing, isolation also increases, the positive rate may come down while needy patients get bed, oxygen or ICU treatment. This strategy, together with enforcing Covid-19 appropriate behaviour, may break the transmission chain and bring down positive cases in Mysuru district.

– Dr. P.V. Ravindra, Mysuru, 17.5.2021

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