GB Nagar to scale up antigen tests to make up for slow RT-PCR - Hindustan Times

GB Nagar to scale up antigen tests to make up for slow RT-PCR

BySanjeev K Jha, Noida
Jul 03, 2020 10:55 PM IST

The Gautam Budh Nagar district administration on Friday announced it would scale up rapid antigen testing taking into account the limitations of the slower RT-PCR testing.

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The Uttar Pradesh government had tasked the district to target 1,000 on-site antigen testing and 3,000 lab-based reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test every day during the 10-day special drive to test every household in the district.

“But, the laboratories testing samples through RT-PCR in the district are not able to incorporate such a huge influx of RT-PCR samples every day due to its limited capacities, we have decided to increase the testing through rapid antigen kits to its optimum level. Also, the reports of rapid antigen kits come within some hours,” said GB Nagar district magistrate Suhas LY .

At present, the district can process 2,000 RT-PCR tests in a day, he added. “That is why, we have decided to increase the rapid antigen test to meet the stipulated target of sampling 4,000 persons a day. Out of 1695 samples collected through rapid antigen kits on Friday, 52 samples tested positive. Our teams have also collected 1,519 samples through RT-PCR tests and their results will come in a few days. Apart from this,two samples have also been taken through TrueNat machines, of which no one was tested positive,” the DM said. Around 1333 teams were deployed for the exercise.

TrueNat test is usually used to detect tuberculosis and the Indian Council of Medical Research had recommended this also for widening the range of options for testing Covid-19 patients.

The DM said with the help of 1,500 surveillance teams and 40 sample collection teams formed for the special drive, the district will reach its target of collecting 4,000 samples a day soon. “Surveillance team comprises three civil volunteers and at least one ASHA or other auxiliary health worker, conducts door-to-door surveys to collect information on people with symptoms of the coronavirus disease,” he said.

About the 40 sampling collection teams – each of them comprising at least one doctor, one health worker and some support staff, Suhas said that they have been properly trained. “They have been asked to maintain the cold chain as the kits get spoiled in a temperature above 30 degree Celsius. They are taking samples carefully as the mercury has risen up these days,” he said.

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