Best time to take COVID test is after 1-2 days of symptoms: Dr Lal PathLabs MD

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Dr Lal Path Labs Managing Director Dr Arvind Lal (Photo/ANI)
Dr Lal Path Labs Managing Director Dr Arvind Lal (Photo/ANI)

By Sahil Pandey

New Delhi [India], May 15 (ANI): Amid thrust to ramp up testing as the country deals with a surge in the COVID-19 cases in the second wave of pandemic, Dr Lal PathLabs Managing Director Dr Arvind Lal on Saturday said the best time to get a test done to check the presence of the virus is one or two days after manifestation of symptoms like fever, loss of smell or taste, breathing issues or diarrhea.

Dr Lal said though RT-PCR test is considered gold-standard for detecting COVID-19, it may only detect around 70 per cent cases of infection.

"The best time to take COVID-19 test is one or two days after symptoms like fever, loss of smell, taste, breathing issues or diarrhea set in. Though RT-PCR test is a gold-standard test in the world, it will detect only detect around 70 per cent cases of the infection," Dr Lal told ANI.

He said COVID-induced lockdown has to be maintained to keep the cases at bay and should be lifted after the country's positivity rate falls below 10 per cent or in ideal case below 5 per cent.

"Our national positivity now is around 21 per cent. Therefore, the lockdown has to be maintained and can only be lifted once positivity rate falls below 10 per cent, 5 per cent would be ideal though. Hopefully the worst is behind us, but it would be futile to guess when the second wave would end," he said.

Dr Lal also spoke of factors that can have a bearing on the correctness of the lab result.

"The technique of the test by the person who is taking the swab, the level of infectivity of a person, transportation conditions (of the swab), and the manner in which RT-PCR test is done, all these can affect the correctness of the result," he said.

With 3,26,098 new COVID-19 cases and 3,53,299 recoveries, India recorded more recoveries than the new infections in the last 24 hours. The recovery rate of the country now stands at 83.50 per cent. With 3,890 more deaths, the toll due to the disease has gone up to 2,66,207. (ANI)