Coronavirus: Aggressive testing ability contain the virus

Namrata Devikar
Sunday, 26 April 2020

As the administration has scaled up the coronavirus testings in Pune city, the number of cases too have been increasing said District Collector, Naval Kishor Ram

Pune: As the administration has scaled up the coronavirus testings in Pune city, the number of cases too have been increasing said District Collector, Naval Kishor Ram on Thursday. On Thursday, Pune city reported 104 new cases of COVID-19. 

Increase in testing and positive cases 
“The average tests each day have gone up to 800. Whereas in the last month, the number of tests done in a day was not more than 100. There are more positive patients, as we are testing more suspected patients from areas with a high prevalence of COVID-19 cases. So there was no need to be panic,” said Ram.

He further advised citizens to follow all the rules and regulations, especially in the red zones.

“I also request women not to wait until their condition gets worse. We urge them to get medical care as soon as they start showing symptoms,” said Ram.

Good method epidemiologically 
Dr Mahesh Kumar Lakhe, Consultant Infectious Disease department at Columbia Asia Hospital, Pune said that testing more people, symptomatic and asymptomatic primary contacts and secondary contacts, is a good method epidemiologically.  

“Aggressive testing for early diagnosis, isolation of patients, triaging them to ICUs/ non-ICU facilities accordingly and tracing of contacts to quarantine them are traditional and time tested public health measures to contain epidemics,” said Lakhe.

Impracticable option?
However, Dr Lakhe further questioned that is it a feasible option testing for COVID-19, especially in our country with a population exceeding 1.3billion? 

“A person is infectious even before the onset of symptoms, and the vast majority are paucisymptomatic, that is they present only a few symptoms,” said Dr Lakhe.

Testing and isolating can break the chain
Speaking about how early diagnosis can help reduce the fatalities, Rakesh Maurya, Lead Scientist at Redcliffe Life Sciences said India has been successful in preventing the mass spread of the infection.

“It is critical that we identify all the COVID-19 positive patients at the earliest so that they can be isolated in a timely manner. It is only after all the infected people are identified and isolated that the chain of viral spread will be broken and eventually it will die out. Increasing the volume of testing is the best option to track the people infected and contain the outbreak in a faster and more efficient way. This will prevent the risk of community transmission,” said Maurya.

He further said that there is no doubt that an early-stage diagnosis of the COVID-19 infection will be instrumental in bringing down the number of fatalities.

“The timeliness of treatment among elderly and patients with co-morbid complications such as respiratory diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart diseases, etc., will be highly effective in faster recovery. Further, it will help in preventing the patient’s condition from becoming severe or critical,” said Maurya.

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