CORONAVIRUS TESTING – Being Negative – The New Normal – Being positive is what always we strive to become. It is of utmost importance that we being positive, affects our lives in a huge way. It makes you and your nearby feel great. The ripples of your positivity reflect on your society in overall aspects. But what if being positive is undesirable? COVID-19 struck us very badly. What a bummer! Many countries at first did not give much importance to the now prevailing pandemic.
As Phoebe said, they didn’t even have a ‘PLA’. When nations started the preventive measures, the ship has sailed already. We have witnessed many deaths of our dears within a short span of time. To be tested negative is more than a relief amidst this rotten luck. With proper measures, we can avoid the widespread of the novel Coronavirus and becoming ourselves positive. What does this Positive and Negative signify? What are the tests done for COVID-19?
When I was writing this, I first came up with the title, ‘Being Negative’. But when I finished the article, I felt the discordance between my focused ideas and its title. You will find it intriguing at first but when we move on to the depth you will understand its gravity. If you were about to do blood donation in between this pandemic, you will be subjected to various tests.
Those tests are done on the donors to make sure that they are not affected by the virus, ensuring safety to the recipient/patient. If they find your tests to be positive you are liable to go into self-quarantine and isolation to avoid spreading. In normal cases, people having fever and respiratory symptoms come under suspicion and periodically gets tested while being in a 14-day quarantine. By now, you might have heard various names of the subjected tests through media and press.
Antigen Test – Rapid Test
Antigen test is a quick test for detecting people who are already infected with the virus. It is not a diagnostic test, only a screening method where we can identify or screen people who need to be tested furthermore. Samples are taken from nose or throat secretions. The test looks for the presence of a type of protein termed as S proteins (the spikes that we see in the pictures). The results are provided in just a few minutes (30 min). But if it is positive, they will have to follow-up with the PCR test. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) approved antigen test kits cost from Rs.450.
Rapid blood test (5 ml) which identifies the presence of antibodies for coronavirus. Antibodies are proteins produced by our body immune system to fight any external bacteria or virus. There are two types of antibodies. IgM antibodies show up in early stages of infection and an IgM positive person have the ability for spreading the virus to others. However, IgG antibodies are likely to show up in later stages but might not have the spreading capability. It needs to be verified using a PCR test. Results are obtained in 20-30 minutes and costs around Rs.600.
PCR Test – Diagnostic
RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction) Test is considered the benchmarked frontline testing for coronavirus. The time taking a test (6-8hrs) is done by obtaining secretions from the nose or throat directly checks the presence of the virus. The tests detect RNA of the virus with the help of the RT-PCR machine in a limited number of samples only. By the process of reverse transcription, the RNA is converted to DNA while detecting the viridae. They are tested twice before confirming. Price ranges from Rs.2500 and above.
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“There will be no return to the ‘old normal’ for the foreseeable future. But there is a roadmap to a situation where we can control the disease and get on with our lives. It can be done. It must be done. We weren’t prepared collectively, but we must use all the tools we have to bring this pandemic under control. And we need to do it right now. We need Science, solution and Solidarity.”
Dr.Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of WHO
Russia claims that they have invented the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine. Till it reaches us, Break the Chain, Stay safe. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Guest Author – Jibin Jose
An unparalleled guy, who goes from quarks to quasars! starts thinking ‘Do ants sleep at night?’ and end up in ‘Could Einstein be wrong?’. I don’t do great things. I do small things in a great way.