Well, I am sure that most of you are working from home. Every morning, before sending that first email, you are taking the daily dose of morning news related to the spread of Covid-19 - the disease caused by an infection with the new coronavirus - in each of the Indian states and world over. It is indeed encouraging to see how each one of us are putting in efforts to win over the pandemic. We all will agree to the fact that early and accurate diagnosis of Covid-19 is critical to curbing its spread and improving health outcomes.
There is nothing new I can write that has not already been written on the precaution that we should take. However, just in case you have missed it, then here are few things you must note about the Covid-19 precautions and test.
(Also read: 5 Tips To Stay Safe During This Coronavirus Lockdown)
Everyone is susceptible to Covid-19. In fact, even the prime minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson has fallen prey to Covid-19. Thus, I can't emphasise enough on the importance of staying at home. So please stay at home. If you have mild cold, fever and cough then isolate yourself. If your condition worsens and you develop breathlessness, then immediately consult a doctor.
When Should You Consider The Test
If you have just come back from a trip and have fever, cough and breathlessness.ADVERTISEMENT
If you have come in contact with people who have travelled to other countries and have the above mentioned symptoms.
You have come in contact with a COVID-19 case and you develop symptomsADVERTISEMENT
Even if you are asymptomatic but are in close contact with proven case. Close contact means caring for the COVID-19 patient or living in same household
Symptoms Of Covid-19
The symptoms of Covid-19 typically appear within 2 to 14 days after the initial exposure to the virus. You must know that some people may show few to no signs of illness during the initial phase of infection but can still transmit the virus to others.
In mild cases, home care and self-quarantine measures are enough to fully recover and keep the virus from spreading to others. However, be cognisant that some cases call for more complex medical interventions. Example old patients or those with underlying medical conditions like diabetes, cancer, etc.
What Things Will You Need For Doing The Test
A doctor's prescription and a government approved ID.
Whom Should You Contact For The Tests
The nearby lab that your doctor has recommended.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex health research body, has been updating the list of all approved public and private labs where you can get the tests done. They have also updated the location maps of the approved Covid-19 testing labs.
Should You Visit The Lab And Get The Test Done
No. You don't have to visit the lab. You can reach out on the landline number of the nearby approved lab. They will help you with the WhatsApp number. You share your doctor's prescription on that number, post which the lab representative will visit your home for the test.
What To Expect?
You can expect the health workers to arrive at your home wearing personal protective equipment. After arrival, they will collect the swab sample from your nose and mouth. These health workers will take due precautions while sample collection and may ask you to mask yourself and perform a hand rub. Please cooperate with them for your and their safety.
What Will The Phlebotomists Do With The Sample
The collected swab will be placed in a viral transport medium (VTM) to maintain samples stability and transported in a cold chain to designated testing location.
(Also read: In The Time Of Coronavirus, Here Are 6 Points To Keep In Mind)
How Long Does It Take To Get The Test Results
RT-PCR samples are often tested in batches at sites away from where they were collected. This means it can take a day or longer to get test results. Private laboratories are trying their best to give results in 24 hrs.
If you have mild symptoms or suspect infection, call your healthcare provider. They will screen your risks, put a prevention and care plan in place for you, and give you instructions on how and where to get tested. Stay safe, stay happy.
About the author: Dr. Nilesh Shah is the President and Chief of Science & Innovation at Metropolis Healthcare Ltd. Armed with 30 years of experience in Diagnostics, Dr Nilesh in the past two decades has successfully headed various verticals of Metropolis like Clinical Trials, Hospital Lab Management, Preventive Health Check-ups and Corporate & Wellness Solutions.
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