With an increasing number of cases, we have observed a shortage of beds and oxygen cylinders. Lockdown helps in stopping the transmission and spread of coronavirus. We have to unite and come forward to fight and defeat this epidemic. To create awareness amongst the population, we at Medicircle are presenting special series on the Role of Diagnosis in COVID 19, wherein we are featuring eminent Founders and Directors of Various labs and Pathological centers to share their experience in dealing with COVID patients.
Mr. Rahil Shah is the Director of NM Medicals which is the pioneer diagnostic center of Radiology, Pathology and preventative health check-ups. In 2010, NM Medical is ranked among the top 3 diagnostic facilities in Mumbai.
A good validated kit is the right test kit
Rahil expresses, “As per our experience, all current strains should be detected by RT-PCR test. RT-PCR test is a gold standard test for COVID detection. There are other tests available like antigen testing, but those should be avoided unless the RT-PCR test is not available or if there is a need for immediate results due to any medical emergency. Generally, we do 2000-2500 tests per day and most of the samples are from the Bombay region, we are not seeing negative results coming for patients having acute symptoms of the corona. Due to rate pressure and cost pressure, if a lab uses a test kit that is not validated properly, then there is a possibility to miss some of the variants in RT-PCR. The test kit which is validated good and taken from a well known vendor is appropriate and is able to detect COVID strain,” talks Rahil.
High quality results in quick time
Rahil shares, “There are three categories of people who undergo test – people having symptoms of COVID, those who have come in close contact with COVID positive person in workplace or house and third are people who are asymptomatic but are pre travel, pre-surgeries, pre hospital admission, they have no symptoms but to follow the mandatory protocol they have to undergo a test. Now, symptomatic patients should definitely perform their test, the RT-PCR result will conclude whether they are positive or negative. The second category of people who have come in close contact should do their RT-PCR test after 3-5 days because to get detected in the test, first the viral load should reach a sufficient level after getting exposed. If you perform an immediate test, there are chances of false negative also. So, for these 3-5 days, the person should stay in quarantine and after this, they should perform the test, this result can be considered as conclusion result,” mentions Rahil.
Rahil stresses, “Technicians and doctors who have worked so hard for the past 1 year, should really be recognized as heroes. It’s all because of their hard work that we are getting such quick services. Result of RT-PCR is available within 4-6 hours in any metro cities, one can get reports of positive CT scan in just 15 mins, and information markers of blood test for COVID, results are available within few hours. High quality results in quick time round the clock service is available. Contributions of private labs service in this tough time should always be remembered.”
All diagnostic tests are available under one roof
Rahil adds, “From our ends, we have to motivate technicians and assure their family that they are safe, and we all are there to support, manage and care. It’s an ongoing process, so fear goes away. Even our doctors and technicians feel that they should be available in these challenging times and really hats off to them for their dedicated work. One good thing about our lab is all diagnostic tests are available under one roof, staffing and distribution of work also get easy. Because there can be sharing of responsibilities across different departments. In this second wave, we have doubled up our testing capacity so that we can test a higher no. of patients in case of a surge in infection. So that is how we have managed, it has not been easy. But like I said they are the real heroes,” expresses Rahil.
Corona has taught us a lesson
Rahil speaks, “We all hope that this is the peak of pandemic and it should get over, but no one can say this confidently. Predictions are there that in mid-May or June onwards, things should rationalize and stabilize again. Things are better in Bombay now, the positive rate is slower. Measures that have been taken are proving to be effective. It’s a learning experience and once this wave gets down, we should prepare ourselves in terms of testing, hospitalization, quarantine centers in case of any third wave.”
(Edited by - Renu Gupta)