Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Testing: In the midst of this 21-day lock-down and the increasing cases of Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 across the country, most people are disturbed about their risk of getting infected with a coronavirus.
Due to the fear that has gripped the entire nation, it is believed that getting tested for Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 is one of the best ways to be on a more cautious side and panic-free.
However, this is not a brilliant idea because not everyone needs or can get tested for COVID-19. The reason being:-
- COVID-19 cases in India are mostly imported cases.
- It has resulted in the limited local transmission of the virus to their direct contacts.
- A doctor is the best guide here. The Doctor’s prescription is a must to get tested for Novel Coronavirus.
- If everyone gets tested, there will be a scarcity of the test kits which can further prevent Coronavirus COVID-19 testing of the authentic suspects.
However, community transmission of the virus has not yet been reported till 31st March 2020. In case, community transmission is reported, there will be changes in the current Coronavirus COVID-19 testing strategy, reveals ICMR.
This brings back to the main query of who should get tested, what represent the cost, when to get tested, etc. So let’s get clear all your myths and queries about Novel Coronavirus testing for once and all.
Who Should You Get Tested For Novel Coronavirus COVID-19?
According to the MOHFW and ICMR guidelines, if a person falls into one of the five criteria, then they should get tested for COVID-17. It includes:
- All those who have undertaken international travel in the last 14 days and exhibit symptoms of Novel Coronavirus (fever, a cough, and difficulty breathing).
- All those who are contacts of confirmed affirmative cases of COVID-19 infection and show symptoms of Coronavirus.
- All healthcare workers showing symptoms of Novel Coronavirus COVID-19.
- All hospitalized patients with severe acute respiratory illness (showing symptoms such as fever and a cough and/or shortness of breath).
- All direct and high-risk contacts of a confirmed case without any symptoms of COVID-19 should be tested once between day 5 and day 14 by entering contact with the confirmed case.
What To Do If I Have Common Cough/Cold?
- If you experience any symptoms similar to that of coronavirus infection, consult a physician online or over call. The symptoms of Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 are fever, sore throat, dry cough, difficulty in breathing, and cold.
- If your doctor suspects coronavirus infection based on your travel/contact history and symptoms, he/she may entitle you to check or you can ask to share a prescription for the test. Make sure the prescription contains your doctor’s stamp, signature, and medical registration number.
- You may also need to present a Government ID (Aadhaar Card/Voter Id/Passport) which mentions the current address and contact number at the time of sample collection.
- You can either book Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 testing online or call the MoHFW 24*7 helpline number for the coronavirus: 011-23978046/state helpline numbers.
- In the meanwhile, follow home quarantine and make sure to maintain a distance of at least one meter with your family members.
What Does Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Testing Mean?
Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 testing is a laboratory test that checks for the presence of the coronavirus (the genetic material of the virus – RNA) in the test sample. For this, you need to provide respiratory samples such as nose/throat swabs.
Not every lab in the country is equipped to test for the coronavirus. As the virus is highly contagious only special labs are equipped to handle the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 samples.
As per the guidelines laid down by ICMR for private laboratories on March 21, 2020, the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 testing can be conducted by a laboratory with a NABL accreditation for real time PCR assay for RNA virus.
What Preparation Is Needed For Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Checkup?
Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 testing involves a simple swab test of the throat. No other preparation required before the sample collection.
The cost of the test is limited at Rs.4500 for private labs, which includes Rs.1500 for conducting the screening test of the suspect and Rs.3000 for confirmation tests.
Remember, there is no need to panic even if you test positive for Novel Coronavirus COVID-19. Your family members and contacts may also be tested and quarantined at home or hospital.
There is absolutely no need to worry as these steps will only ensure that you and your family members stay protected along with lowering the risk of spreading the virus at the community level.
Let’s remain watchful and be careful. Keep social distancing, Strictly and be Safe!