Covid RT-PCR Test in India
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What is a Covid RT-PCR Test?
Covid RT-PCR stands for Reverse Transcription(RT) – Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). It is a diagnostic molecular test to determine if you have been infected with the SARS CoV-2 virus.
The Covid RT-PCR test can be done on any individual, from infants to geriatrics, male or female. Individuals experiencing symptoms, such as fever, cough, cold, body ache, and fatigue, should get tested for Covid-19 infection with the help of a Covid RT-PCR test.
What does a Covid RT-PCR Test include?
Every pathogen or organism has genetic material called DNA and RNA that provides information regarding its structure. Viral RNA is easier to replicate with the help of a PCR mechanism and reverse transcriptase. Once replicated, it is easier to match it with the viral RNA and detect its presence in the body.
The number of attachments(polymerase) formed is called the chain reaction. This test helps us determine a very small amount of viral load during the initial asymptomatic phase of the infection. Test results will, thereafter, be reported as positive or negative for Covid-19 infection.
Benefits of a Covid RT-PCR Test
The Covid RT-PCR test is a definitive and gold standard test procedure for determining the Covid19 infection. It provides a rapid means of assessment for viral load in the body and is, therefore, a reliable tool to diagnose Covid 19 infection at a very early stage. Asymptomatic individuals, who may be just carriers of the virus, are an important source of spread in the community.
Covid RT-PCR test enables us to contain the spread of Covid-19 infection by identifying such carrier individuals who may have mild symptoms or are completely asymptomatic.
The other diagnostic test for Covid 19 is an antigen test. This test requires a minimum amount of virus to be present in the bloodstream for it to reflect a positive test result; whereas, the Covid RT-PCR test can determine the presence of the virus before it spreads in the body as it does not require a specific viral load.
An antigen test may show false-positive or false-negative results too. Therefore, the Covid RT-PCR test is more sensitive, more accurate, and more reliable for medical professionals to detect the infection of the virus.
How long does it take to complete the Covid RT-PCR Test?
You can expect to receive the results for a Covid RT-PCR Test within 24 to 48 hours after the samples are collected. However, in certain cases, depending on the location, medical advice, and preferred lab partner, it may take longer for the test results to appear.
What is the procedure for a Covid RT-PCR Test?
A lab specialist will come to collect your blood at a preferred time slot. Please ensure that you follow the preparations required for this health assessment package. After collecting the samples, the specialist will send them over to the lab partner. The lab partner will analyse the samples based on the tests listed in the package. You will then receive the full report within 48 hours of sample collection on the MFine web and app platform.
What preparation is required for a Covid RT-PCR Test?
- If you have been advised to undergo a Covid RT-PCR test by your physician or other medical professional or wish to check for yourself during routine screening or when in contact with an infected person, you will need to inform the nearest lab technician in advance.
- The lab technician will prepare himself with Personal Protective Equipments(PPE) to collect your sample. The procedure has to be carried out with proper hygiene and minimising the risk of infecting others.
- He will insert a nasal swab or cotton attached to a long stick into your nose. You must be mentally prepared to avoid unnecessary hassles.
- You must wear a mask at all times during the procedure, except when the sample is taken.
- Sometimes the lab technician may also collect your saliva sample, requiring you to spit saliva into a collecting tray or cup.
- Once he has collected the nasal or oral sample, it will be sealed to avoid contamination and spreading the infection to others in the vicinity.
Why book Covid RT-PCR Test through MFine?
MFine provides you with a hassle-free process to get all your tests done. Mfine works to ensure that your experience is more than just satisfaction. Moreover, you get to choose where you want to get your tests done-the lab of your choice. Convenient timings for sample collection is another advantage offered by MFine. All our Lab technicians are vaccinated and follow all hygienic procedures compulsorily.
How to book a Covid RT-PCR Test?
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Frequently Asked Questions on Covid RT-PCR
Are MFine's lab partners NABL accredited?
Yes. All our lab partners are NABL (National Accreditation Board of Testing and Calibration of Laboratories)-accredited labs. Thyrocare, Prima Diagnostics, Neuberg, Healthians, to name a few, are our top lab partners. Most of our lab partners have state-of-the-art infrastructure facilities for diagnostic tests.
Can I avail at-home sample collection for a Covid RT-PCR Test on weekends?
Yes. We provide sample collections on all days of the week. The timings can vary based on the test, and tests that require 8 to 10 hours of fasting may have morning slots.
Is fasting required for a Covid RT-PCR Test?
A Covid RT-PCR test does not require you to be fasting. The nasal or oral swab does not interfere with your food intake, and it can be collected at any time of the day.
What samples are collected for a Covid RT-PCR Test?
The samples taken for a Covid RT-PCR test are from the nose or the throat. A swab or cotton tip is inserted into your nose or throat. It is gently rubbed at the back of the nose or throat and rolled out during removal. The fluid collected on the cotton swab is kept in a collection device with precaution. In exceptional cases, a saliva sample may be taken.
When will I receive my test results for a Covid RT-PCR Test?
You will receive your test results within 48 hours of sample collection. You can download your reports on the MFine web and app platforms.
Will I get the result interpretation for my test results?
You will have a free doctor consultation along with your test results for the Covid RT-PCR Test. Our senior doctor will help you understand your results accurately and advise medications and lifestyle changes wherever required.
Which is the best place in India for the Covid RT-PCR Test?
The Covid-19 infection may prove detrimental to physical, mental, financial and social aspects of life. Testing, diagnosis, and proper management of the infection are of utmost importance. Choose a reliable and trusted partner for all your needs. Choose MFine. Get your Covid RT-PCR test done anywhere in India at a reasonable cost through the MFine app.
Can Covid RT-PCR Test detect cancer?
No Covid RT PCR will not detect cancer, but it is always advisable to follow up with a doctor and avail of further tests.
Covid RT-PCR Test v/s Covid Antigen testing. Which is better?
Although a Covid RT-PCR test and the Covid antigen test both detect the presence of a Covid-19 infection, the indications for both vary. When an individual shows symptoms of a viral infection or reports a prolonged exposure to an infected individual for a long time, they can take an antigen test to assess the presence and the extent of viral infection. But research by eminent scientists around the world suggests that a Covid RT-PCR test is more accurate and reliable in diagnosing and treating a Covid-19 infection effectively at an early stage with or without the presence of symptoms.
Can Covid RT-PCR Test detect any other infections?
A virus has its DNA and RNA, which can be replicated with the help of the PCR process. Replication of viral RNA helps determine if you have been infected with a particular virus. So, Covid RT PCR test will detect only a covid infection not any other infection.
What should I do if I test negative?
A negative Covid RT-PCR test usually means that you do not have an active infection, but you must continue to practice personal hygiene and social distancing. If you have any signs of infection, speak to your health care provider and get yourself tested again and treated properly.
What should I do next after I test positive for Covid-19?
Once you test positive for Covid-19, it is advisable to follow proper instructions for treatment as prescribed by your physician for symptom control. One must take adequate precautions to prevent the spread of infection to people around by self-isolation if asymptomatic or completing a treatment protocol at a Covid centre when experiencing symptoms.
Who should get a Covid RT-PCR test done?
Primary indications for testing oneself for Covid-19 are:
- You experience symptoms, including fever, cough, running nose, throat dryness, body ache, and fatigue.
- You have been exposed to the virus or came in close contact with an infected person.
- You are a medical professional or a caregiver undergoing a routine check-up.
- You have been travelling outside the country or have plans to travel shortly.
Is it possible to test negative and later test positive for Covid-19?
It is very much possible for this to happen. The sample may be contaminated, or the test failed to detect the virus. Another possible explanation is that you may have been infected after the first test was performed. The degree of error in a Covid RT-PCR test is very minimal.
What does an inconclusive test result mean?
There is a particular threshold for the detection of viral genetic material. If the collected sample does not meet this threshold, it is considered presumptive positive, which means it is wise to report it as positive unless proved otherwise to prevent the further spread of the virus. Therefore the term inconclusive is sometimes reported in test results.