Test for coronavirus in India
A laboratory test should only be offered when prescribed by a qualified physician.
All individuals need not be tested, because the disease is primarily reported in individuals with travel history to the affected countries or close contacts of positive cases.
How the test is done?
Suspected cases are screened for the virus with nucleic acid amplification tests (NAAT), such as RT-PCR.
Trained health care professionals handle the appropriate specimen collection, storage, packaging, and transport of the sample.
The respiratory material should be collected:
Upper respiratory specimens: Nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab or wash in ambulatory patients
Lower respiratory specimens (may/may not be collected): sputum (if produced) and/or endotracheal aspirate or bronchoalveolar lavage in patients with more severe respiratory disease.
Routine confirmation of cases of COVID 19 is based on the detection of unique sequences of virus RNA by NAAT such as real-time reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RRT-PCR) with confirmation by nucleic acid sequencing when necessary. The viral genes targeted so far include the N, E, S, and RdRP genes.
Do you need to get tested?
Everyone need not be tested for COVID 19. The information that might help in making decisions about seeking care or testing.
Most people have mild illness and can recover at home There is no treatment specifically approved for this virus Testing results may be helpful to inform decision-making about who you come in contact with Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has given guidance for who should be tested. As per the advisory, people who should get tested are.
All symptomatic people who
- Have a history of international travel in the last 14 days
- Had come in contact with confirmed cases
- Are healthcare workers
- Are hospitalized patients with Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) or Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) or severe pneumonia
- Asymptomatic direct and high-risk contacts of confirmed cases should be tested once between day 5 and day 14 of coming in his/her contact. Direct and high-risk contact include:
- Those living in the same household with a confirmed case
- Healthcare workers who examined a confirmed case without adequate protection as per WHO recommendations
Self-test for coronavirus
CDC offers a self-check for COVID 19 on its website. In India, the Goa government has launched its first automated self-evaluation assessment to identify at-risk patients for COVID 19. It is based on best CDC guidelines, illness severity, and risk factors like age and pre-existing conditions.
The link to India’s first automated self-evaluation assessment is provided below.