It Takes 10 hours To Get COVID-19 Test Results, Says RMRC Director; Explains The Process

Bhubaneswar: Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC) Director Dr Sanghamitra Pati on Friday said diagnosis of COVID-19, which is an RNA virus, is a time-consuming process.

“It takes nearly 10 hours to get the final results after receiving the samples,” she said.

At a press briefing at the Geeta Govinda Sadan hereDr Pati said that COVID-19 testing is not as simple as measuring someone’s blood  pressure or haemoglobin count.

“The sample is brought in a triple-layered VTM and the health workers who collect it take necessary precautions since coronavirus is highly infectious and can infect 2.5 persons. It is then santised at RMRC and sent to the lab,” she said.

All labs, which conduct such tests, are required to maintain a minimum Bio Safety Level and the sample is opened inside this negative pressure chamber to ensure the safety of scientists and lab technicians. They all wear PPE, she added.

“Lysis buffer, a reagent, is then used to render live viruses inactive, following which the RNA is extracted using a kit. The sample is then loaded in the real-time RTPCR machine and it shows the results after four hours,” she said.

If a samples is found to be corona positive, a confirmatory panel analyses the result and this takes another two hours, she said.

“So, it takes at least 8 hours to confirm a positive result,” she added.

As a Regional Virus Research and Diagnostic Laboratory (VRDL), RMRC here started testing for corona first in Odisha.

“After the first COVID-19 patient was detected, RMRC began work on a war-footing and the scientists started working in three shifts. Two more machines were procured to increase the testing capacity,” she said.

Pati informed that RMRC has received the COBAS 6800, the only second machine in India, to ramp up its capacity by three times and fulfil the diagnostic needs of the state.

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