COVID-19: C'garh to start 'pool testing' to cover more ground

COVID-19: C'garh to start 'pool testing' to cover more ground
Raipur, Apr 15 () The Chhattisgarh government hasdecided to adopt "pool testing" technique to expedite theprocess of COVID-19 testing and cover more ground, a healthofficial said on Wednesday.

As many as 33 persons have tested positive forcoronavirus in Chhattisgarh, of which 13 have recovered fromthe infection.

Taking to Twitter, state Health Minister T S Singh Deosaid, "In order to effectively use the extended lockdownperiod, I have initiated measures to start pool testing, in atleast one of our labs, at the earliest. This would help us inincreasing Covid-19 testing by manifolds."

Scientists from the state have sought detailedtechnical guidelines from Indian Council of Medical Research(ICMR) to undertake "pool testing" for COVID-19, secretary ofthe health department Niharika Barik Singh said.
"Under the pool testing method, generally (swab)samples from least affected areas are pooled together andtested. If the result of a collection of samples comes outnegative, then all samples in that group are considerednegative," she said.

However, if the result of the collection was found tobe positive, then each sample from the group is testedindividually to confirm which one was positive for the virus,Singh said.

"Our scientists have sought detailed technicalguidelines from the ICMR and as soon as it reverts, we willstart the process in a day or two," she added.

The method will not only reduce the number of kitsused for testing, but it will also help the authorities tocover more ground in a short span of time, she said.

According to health officials, of the 4,821 samplestested in the state so far, only 33 were found to be positive,while 4,319 came out negative and reports of 469 were awaited. Moreover, of the 33 COVID-19 patients, 13 were curedfollowing treatment, they said.

At present, samples are being tested at AIIMS Raipur,Pt Jawahar Lal Nehru Memorial Medical College in Raipur andJagdalpur Medical College in Bastar.

As many as 75,837 people, most of them with history oftravel abroad or to affected states, were under homequarantine, they said. TKPARU ARU

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