How Safe Is Odisha? RT-PCR Test Fails To Detect New COVID Strain, Warn Doctors
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has made a negative report of the RT-PCR test — considered as the gold standard of COVID-19 testing — mandatory for those arriving in the state to check the spread of the virus.
But is the RT-PCR negative report a guaranteed safeguard against COVID-19? It has emerged that the test is after all not so effective in detecting the new strain of the virus that is behind the present surge in infections in the country.
Several Delhi-based hospitals have reported cases where patients with characteristic symptoms of COVID-19 test negative even through the RT-PCR test. It’s only after additional tests that the infection can be confirmed in such cases.
“We have received many such patients in the past few days. They had fever, cough, shortness of breath and the CT scan of the lungs showed lighter-coloured or grey patches. It is referred to as patchy ground glass opacity in medical terms. The condition is one of the defining characteristics of COVID-19,” Managing Director of Akash Healthcare, Dr Aashish Chaudhry was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
According to doctors, the new strain of coronavirus in circulation this year seems to be a mutated version that is both highly infectious and causes varied symptoms as compared to the original strain. The incubation period is also less, meaning symptoms start early.