UP, Maharashtra eye pool tests to speed up Covid detection

LUCKNOW/MUMBAI: In an attempt to speed up Covid-19 testing in the state, the government decided to adopt group tests or pooled sample tests, which are currently being used in Germany and Israel to contain the spread of the virus. Maharashtra also requested permission from the Center and the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) to allow group testing, the state minister in Mumbai said on Saturday.

The method involves mixing multiple samples to create a large or super sample and testing them all at once instead of analyzing each sample one at a time. It is not new and was widely used by the USA. USA To detect syphilis patients during World War II.

The technique has now been validated for testing and is being used successfully by Israel and Germany. UP health officials are in the final stages of implementing the method.

“We are the first in the country to launch this from next week. While in use in Germany and Israel, ICMR is working on a standard operating procedure (SOP), confirmed Vikasendu Agarwal, state surveillance officer, UP. In all likelihood, the size of the super sample will be made with a 10-person swab and tested. Ten samples will be collected each day at the beginning and expanded later. This means that we will be able to evaluate 100 people from a group of two or three districts every day, ”he explained.

The epidemiologist and community health specialist said adopting the technique was a smart move. “It will speed up the processing of samples in several folds at a much lower cost. Consider this: If 10 super samples are analyzed, the result of 100 can be studied in only 10 diagnostic kits instead of 100.