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West Bengal health department set to start pool test procedure

As a precautionary measure several other doctors who might have come close to their three affected colleagues have also been advised for quarantine process. In a further step for containment of coronavirus, the state government has decided to conduct ‘Rapid Antibody Tests’ at hotspots.

The Statesman Desk | Kolkata |

With regular surge in number of Covid-19-affected patients including doctors, the state health department has decided to launch ‘pool test’ procedure among people staying in areas where no coronavirus case has been reported so far. The health department has issued an advisory today as per the directives of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) under the health ministry recommending for ‘pool test’ system to fight against the killer virus.

Swab samples of maximum five individuals without any Covid-like symptoms in clusters where prevalence rate of this viral infection is low will be collected and these samples mixed together will be sent for confirmatory tests in laboratories.

The five individuals will considered as Covid-free if the mixed sample is tested negative in lab report. This will help reduce the quantity of kits required for Covid confirmatory test for every individual. But the advisory said that every individual of this fivemember pool might be asked for test again if the result of the mixed sample is found coronavirus positive.

This type of ‘pool test’ model has already been implemented in Kerala, which has drawn global attention for its management and control of coronavirus outbreak. The move is to increase the capacity of laboratories to screen more number of samples using molecular samples testing for Covid-19 for strong surveillance on the disease, the advisory said.

Meanwhile, three doctors of the Medical College Hospital (MCH) in the city were admitted to the Beliaghata ID Hospital today and their swab samples were found Covid positive in the laboratory. They got infected after coming close in contact with two coronavirus positive patients in the maternity department of MCH.

As a precautionary measure several other doctors who might have come close to their three affected colleagues have also been advised for quarantine process. In a further step for containment of coronavirus, the state government has decided to conduct ‘Rapid Antibody Tests’ at hotspots.

The rapid tests would be conducted under strict medical supervision and 28 districts have been tagged with 18 medical colleges and hospitals for conducting the tests.