The rapid rise in suspected cases of Covid infections during the second wave in Hyderabad and other parts of the State has put a lot of pressure on private and government RT-PCR testing laboratories, which are taking anywhere between two and three days to process the samples.

Due to a large pool of suspected Covid patients, apart from RT-PCR tests, getting rapid antigen tests at government testing centres has become difficult and individuals are forced to make multiple visits.

The inordinate delay in Covid tests has put individuals with suspected symptoms of Covid infections in dilemma. Many end up waiting for two to three days for RT-PCR tests to arrive or make multiple visits to the nearest government testing facility for a rapid antigen test. 

Moreover, during the ongoing second wave, there are many instances of individuals, despite having Covid symptoms, are testing negative in RT-PCR tests.

Addressing such individuals who are unsure of their Covid status despite having the symptoms, senior health officials and doctors have urged people not to wait for tests if they have symptoms. Health officials pointed out that even the recent Covid treatment guidelines released by AIIMS-ICMR says that the non-availability of Covid tests should not deny or delay the treatment.

Public health officials have advised the general public, especially those who have Covid-like symptoms but are yet to get tested, or their tests are getting delayed or they have tested negative despite the symptoms (false negatives), they should immediately call up a General Practitioner for Covid treatment and isolate themselves in their homes.

During their home isolation, the patients should monitor their vital health parameters like oxygen saturation level and temperature frequently. “The load of suspected cases has increased during the second wave. As a result, laboratory diagnostic facilities at all Government and private facilities are under immense pressure. 

A majority of the individuals end up waiting for at least three days for the tests to arrive and till then do not take any kind of medication. This could be counter-productive. Hence, persons with suspected Covid symptoms should not hesitate to take treatment first so that the disease does not progress,” senior health officials said.

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