Updated: March 6, 2020 11:41:26 am
Go to any of the 106 medical colleges/district hospitals designated by the government as Viral Research & Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDLs). Private hospitals/clinics may or may not have the technology or expertise, and an infected person may end up only expanding their network of contacts and facilitating spread of the disease.
The list is here.
“We do not know if the private sector has the wherewithal. Our entire focus has been on reducing (infectious) contact and protecting people from being charged more for tests by private players. We have seen that happen during outbreaks earlier,” a senior official at the National Centre for Disease Control (formerly National Institute of Communicable Diseases), Delhi told The Indian Express.
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Two tests are ordinarily done before pronouncing a person as coronavirus-positive.
In the first stage, a nasal or throat swab is tested for the presence of the virus — to detect the “viral load”. Strands of genetic material (for the novel coronavirus it is RNA) are isolated through a process called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). This test can happen at any of the labs in the chart alongside.
In the next stage, the identity of the virus is confirmed through genome sequencing. This test is available only at the National Institute of Virology, Pune. The test was developed almost overnight after the identity of the novel coronavirus was revealed in December last year.
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